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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of family law issues.
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if 2 people jointly own a property 50/50 and are jointly on

Resolved Question:

if 2 people jointly own a property 50/50 and are jointly on the mortgage, one lives there, the other doesnt and there is no deed of trust in place. How would the cost for repairs, renovation etc be split?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

HI thanks for your question. My name is***** can answer this for you.

tdlawyer :

People do not have to repair their homes. So, if repairs are to be carried out in respect of jointly owned property, they need to agree to incur those repair costs to be jointly liable. That's the starting point.

tdlawyer :

If they dont agree, and one proceeds to instruct somebody to repair things, then that one person is liable to pay the repair person their costs. Not the other person.

tdlawyer :

However, if the property is later sold, the person that had spent more on repairs might try and argue that he or she should have a greater than 50% contribution from the sale proceeds.

Customer:

what if the other person refuses to communicate on any level? What happens if the property will be damaged if the work is not carried out - e.g new roof needed.

tdlawyer :

If joint owners cant agree on what needs to be done, then either could refuse to allow work to be carried out. They both need to agree on such decisions affecting their jointly owned property.

tdlawyer :

If they can't agree, then the best thing usually is for the property to be sold and those people part ways.

Customer:

The other person has never lived at the property nor paid any of the mortgage, bills etc, but expects to get a 50% percent share after the property is sold, effectively meaning that they will also receive half the cost of the works paid for by the other party as well as any increase in value generated by these works..

Customer:

We have tried to sell the property and have been unable to do so because of the further works required. The other party seems to expect to make some huge profit, but is unrealistic about the value. We want to buy them out. Can we force them to accept a fair offer?

tdlawyer :

Well, if that party has paid not mortgage when they agreed they would be doing that, the other party may be able to argue that they have a bigger claim to the proceeds of sale because of their significantly greater contribution towards the purchase price.

tdlawyer :

The Court can do this - even though you agreed 50:50 at the start, things might have changed, which make it unfair to recognise a pure 50:50 when the sale goes through.

Customer:

Can we force them to sell to us for a fair price? If we get quotes, valuations etc bearing in mind the condition. A buyer pulled out after commissioning a survey, we are trying to buy it from them.

tdlawyer :

Any one owner can bid for the property like any other potential purchaser could. If both can't agree to sell, what would need to happen is an application would be made to the Court for an order for sale.

Customer:

So, we could make them an offer based on the condition of the property, and if they refuse, then we would have to take them to court and hope the court would force them to sell at an agreed a price? but we can't sue them for damage caused to property if work is not carried out or force them to pay towards the repairs?

tdlawyer :

Sorry - are you not one of the owners of the property at the moment?

tdlawyer :

Only one of the owners can make an application to Court like this.

Customer:

Yes, my husband owns 50% and a so called friend owns the other. My husband would be applying to buy the 'friend' out

tdlawyer :

I see. Yes, that's entirely possible.

Customer:

Can he apply himself - are there any forms he can use, or will he have to use a solicitor?

tdlawyer :

You dont ever *have* to use a solicitor, but it's always best to do so, because they're familiar with what needs to be done. However, he could do it himself if he wanted to (never a good idea though in my view). He could commence Part 8 proceedings in the County Court - the forms are available at the HMCTS website here: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/FormFinder.do

tdlawyer :

Can I check that this answers your question please and that you're happy with the service provided today?

Customer:

Hi Tony, are you still there. I just wanted to sign off, I have enough info to proceed - will write to the other party offering to buy them out, with some valuations from estate agents, quotes for works and the survey, to back up the offer price, if he refuses to sell to my husband at that price, will then have to take him to court. Agreed best course????

tdlawyer :

I'm here.

tdlawyer :

Court is an option - yes. So I think you've understood it.

Customer:

Thank you Tony, at least I now know the legal position. Hope not to have to go to court though! Best regards.

tdlawyer :

You're welcome. Thank you! Please remember to rate the answer for me before you go :) Thank you - and good luck!

Customer:

Cheers! this has been going on for 3 years, so we need to end it!

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