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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33312
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I currently own my property & have a mortgage that I had to

Customer Question

I currently own my property & have a mortgage that I had to get with an ex partner 7 years ago. I put 15k into the deposit (and can prove this) however we didn't take legal advice should things end etc. Shortly after we split up however I was unable to get a mortgage on my own to transfer deeds & was unable to sell the house.

I have paid all mortgage payments, council tax, insurance utilities etc since day one & she has not made any contribution to the house whatsoever. I am now able to get a mortgage however she is still looking for circa 50% equity in the property. Can you advise if this is correct or because I have paid for up-keep, bills etc during the period am I able to suggest less etc?

Also, if she doesn't accept an offer to transfer deeds etc, can I take her to court to have her removed etc - please advise. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
When you purchased the property did you ever discuss what would happen with regard to the £15,000 if you separated?
Do you have any children together?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Hi Clare,


 


Thanks for the response - the property is valued at £185k (by my recent mortgage valuation) with an outstanding mortgage of circa £134,500. In addition there is an secured loan of £10k that we used to renovate the house leaving a total of £144,500 that I have secured from my new mortgage provider.


 


We have not children together, where not married & although we discussed it verbally that I would get the £15k back I naively did not seek legal advice to cover this.


 


I have been living in the property since purchased & can demonstrate all payments made to the mortgage & additional maintenance etc...


 


I am currently living in the property with my new partner & child.


 


Many Thanks


 


Andy

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much has she asked for?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


hi


 


she hasn't directly however her expectation is half of equity - what is the legal position seeing as she has made no contribution whatsoever during the c


 


thanks


se of the ownership?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How long ago did you separate?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Hi,


 


We have been separated in April 2009 - we purchased the house in 2006, renovated it for 2 years (using the 10k loan) lived in it for circa 10 months to April 2009 than split up. Again throughout all this period, all mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance etc was paid for by myself with no contribution from my ex-partner.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Legally as things stand the starting point is that the equity should indeed be divided equally between you since you have not protected your investment in any way.
However the fact that you paid the £15,000 at the start and there was discussion about it means that you should be able to recover that
The other issues will form part of the negotiations - you can read more about that here
http://www.crippslink.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=718:cohabitation-a-review-of-the-trusts-of-land-and-appointment-of-trustees-act-1997&catid=32:property-disputes&Itemid=537
You should try and negotiate matters with her using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
to agree a figure
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK thanks - so legally she is still entitled to half the equity even though I have paid all mortgage repayments & maintenance on the house (new bathroom, kitchen, roof etc) throughout that time, does this not fall into any element of additional equity towards me?


 


When you say 'should' be able to recover the 15k can you elaborate? Is this through legal means?


 


if we can't agree a payment even via mediation, what is the next steps / options? Can the situation be taken in court for resolution? I am trying to establish the strengths / weaknesses of my case if any... and what the options are as keen to avoid this situation prolonging any further. In your experience, what would a court look to potentially rule giving what I have told you?


 


Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that in the absence of any agreement you will have to fight for a larger share through the court - based on the deposit and the extra work that you have paid for
You can read more here
http://www.crippslink.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=718:cohabitation-a-review-of-the-trusts-of-land-and-appointment-of-trustees-act-1997&catid=32:property-disputes&Itemid=537
You will have to make a claim to the court under the Trusts of Land and appointment of Trustees Act
I am hopeful that you would be successful in getting a larger share certainly receiving back your £15,000 before any division of what is left
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


thanks - do you have an indication as to the costs of this legal process? I appreciate this is indicative however rough estimations would allow me to decide if it is worthwhile proceeding via the legal system

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Such claims are not cheap - they could cost each of you £5,000 or even more
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks


 


if she is seeking circa 10-15k shared equity it might be worth me looking a it


 


 


 


many thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If the property was sold tomorrow it would give you maybe £37,000 in equity.
If you had the first £15,000 and the rest was split 50/50 she would get £11,000 - so if she wants anything more than that then yes it would be
clare

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