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Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Are you married, if so how long?-How old are you both?-Do you have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?-What are your respective incomes?-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-How much are your costs to improve the property?-Who is now living in the property?
Thanks for confirming. As you are not married you do not have an automatic right to claim from each other and each persons assets are their own - therefore if the property is held as joint tenants then you each own an equal share in the property. However, given that you have made significant contributions to the property which may have increased the value, you have grounds to pursue a court application to be compensated for your contribution, if the contribution is unequal, unless she is willing to agree to this voluntarily. You may wish to enter into a deed of trust which specifies how a property is to be dealt with if you separate and how much each person will receive. You should also be aware that as joint tenants, upon the death of one of the joint tenants, the property automatically passes to the other and it cannot be passed on in a will or through intestacy rules. You may therefore wish to have the title changed to tenants in common which will then enable you to individually pass on your respective shares as well as hold the title in unequal shares if necessary.
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Thanks, ***** ***** the property was owned before the cohabitation solely by her and that she has a minor child in her care, it will be difficult for you to attempt to force a sale of the property until the child has reached a certain age (eg. finishes education) and is no longer dependant on her.