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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22401
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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My partner of many years is trying to claim half of my house.

Customer Question

My partner of many years is trying to claim half of my house. The house is paid for and I am the sole owner. All the bills are in my name and he doesn't contribute whatsoever, I work he is retired he has no savings and is only in receipt of a state pension. He is sending me solicitors letters of which my solicitor is responding to but it's like a cat and mouse game. Can I just ignore any future letters and see what happens. My dilemma is that he is the one demanding money and he hasn't the funds to pursue to litigation. Why should I have the unnecessary expense to take him to court to prove my case when it's him that has instigated the whole thing.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
How long has he lived there?

Did he pay for anything at all?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name isXXXXX will do whatever I can to answer your question.
What does his solicitor say is the basis of his claim?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Due to the long relationship with our client he has instructed that he requires half interest in the propert.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

So over the years, just confirm that he's never paid anything towards the house or done any work in it, or made any contributions whatsoever.

Did you ever promised him anything such as "stick with me and one day all this will be yours" or did you promise anything similar at any stage?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
His solicitor is saying he has maintained the property including the garden. I have never made any promises and he has most certainly never made any contribution.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


In that case, he is probably entitled to very little if anything.
It would depend what value there was in the repairs and gardening he has done
in the whole scale of things, probably not a lot.

The first thing you need to do is ask the solicitors how the case
is funded. If it is done on a conditional fee agreement as a privately funded
client, it means that the solicitors are doing it. No win no fee, which means
that they do not get paid unless he gets any money. On these facts, (unless he
has told them a different story). it is not a case that most solicitors would
take on on a no win no fee basis.



You have several options.



You can simply ignore any future correspondence and if they do
issue proceedings, see if they are actually issue legal proceedings. Legal
proceedings will have to be paid for up front because the court wants their
money, the court will not work. No win no fee!



You could write and say that you are not going to enter into any
further correspondence and that they should either issue proceedings or stop
writing.



If proceedings arrive, defend them.



Or, you could make a small "without prejudice" offer (what we call
a nuisance offer) to get rid of it.



You can keep exchanging correspondence ad nauseam, which will only
serve to increase his costs (and yours), but if it went to court and he had any
degree of success, you may have to pay his costs in the end anyway.



I will say that this is not a matter that most solicitors would
deal with on a no win no fee basis, based upon the fact that you have given so
it may be that he has given them a different story.



My colleague Claire made the following comments which, to be
frank, probably sum up his case.



"It is a try on They probably threw Kernott and Jones into the
letter - but there is not an earthly."



If
you Google Kernott v Jones, it will give
you an idea of how the court look at these kind of claims



Please
bear with me today because I will be online and off-line



Can I help further?



The
next part is really important for me:



Please
don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not what you
wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for free. If
you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for
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don't get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open, it does not close. Thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you your reply has been very helpful however will my solicitor know how the case is funded. Presuming it is a conditional fee agreement does that mean he is expected to pay for every letter and any future litigation costs up front. But if it is a no win no fee does he not pay anything until case concluded. You mention he maybe not telling the truth to his solicitor, he definitely is not he has said he paid the deposit for my first house and that he paid mortgage payments. This man has never been employed since I met him he was a motor trader who bought and sold cars on an ad hoc basis and never paid tax. He was made bankrupt many years ago and is a very bitter man. He has enjoyed 2 holidays abroad every year free of charge and whilst he is now retired he is 80 (retired is an understatement as he hasn't done an honest days work for years) I go out to work full time to provide a roof over our heads we have two adult children living at home. I am looking at the best way to be rid, I would be willing to pay a goodwill gesture but I don't think it would be meet his approval. Which way do I go?....
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Your solicitor will only know if he has asked. There is no duty to volunteer the information. But if asked, I have to tell you.

They also have to tell you (but ask the question anyway ) . If he has any kind of legal expenses insurer and is to pay the legal costs in the event that you lose . The general rule is that the winner gets their cost paid by the loser .if he loses, the insurance only page your costs,. His solicitor gets nothing.

If it is on a conditional fee agreement/no win no fee, his solicitor will note every letter phone call and attendance which he will put onto his bill and it goes to court and he wins . . As I said earlier, , if he loses, the solicitor gets nothing.. If you have not already it might be worthwhile sending proof of your mortgage payments and deposit to his solicitor saying words to the effect of "here is my proof that these were paid by me , where is your proof that they were paid by your client ? "

In the solicitor thinks that his client is lying to him . He is not going to be best pleased because , the client is wasting his time . . Remember that if this goes to court it is decided on the balance of probabilities so your version of events only has to be 1% more believable than his and he loses .

Please
don't forget to positively rate my answer service. If
you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for
my time. The thread doe not close.

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22401
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
Stuart J and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What if I waited till he went out and changed the locks and put his stuff out. What would happen.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
It would not be my recommended course of action

But
if you did that, obviously, he could not break back in and and if he started to
cause trouble, you could call the police.

He
would be faced with making an application to court for an injunction to allow him
back in, but it would only be a temporary measure.



It
would be more reasonable if you actually gave him noticed that you wanted him
to leave by a particular date, and asked him to vacate by that date, and every
did not, he would no longer be allowed into the property. At that stage, if he
does not leave the property, you can call the police and ask them to get him to
leave.



Here
is, after all, just the guest in your house, albeit a long staying one. Some
police forces will not want to get involved and simply say that it is a civil
matter.



You
need to make sure that you do not get involved in any public order/breach of
the peace incident.



It
would be worthwhile telling his solicitor to tell him to get out by that
particular date

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