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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25957
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My abusive partner over the last year will not allow me to

Customer Question

My abusive partner over the last year will not allow me to do anything to leave him. He won't buy me out and do an equity transfer to him. He wont let us put the house up for sale, He wont move out. so I decide to rent but he wont let me take any furniture. he told me to write a list and give it to him which I have done twice and he has said no to everything. So asked him to write a list of what I'm allowed to take and he wont. He says if I take anything without his agreement that he will take me to court or just come and get it.
He kicked off this morning so I have got my mum over to help me pack and I'm moving into a rented accommodation tomorrow. He doesn't know and I know he'll go mad . He knows where I'm intending to move to but not when.

If I take half, he will even go mad at that. He's given me no option to guess what I'm allowed to take?
What are my rights with the house we jointly own? Can he change the locks? What will happen if he won't sell? I think he'll keep up paying the mortgage but what will happen to the equity. He says he can do an attachment on the deeds so that I don't get half?

And what happens if he gets a partner to move in. Can he do that? Can he make alterations ect without my permission.

Really Scared

Gaynor
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

I am sorry to hear of your situation. Could you confirm for the avoidance of doubt that you own the property jointly? Did you both contribute equally to the property financially in terms of deposit etc?

Customer:

Hi

Customer:

My Partner put in 11000 deposit , both our names are XXXXX XXXXX mortgage. as I earn very little but had some savings, he sold his house and put that deposit down and the agreement was that I would spend my savings on making the house nice. So I paid 6000 on a new bathroom, 2 bedrooms and putting a floor and storage in the loft. We then started tp fall out due to threatening behaviour. I understand it was him that has put more in and I'm happy to sign the house to him or sell. I asked for 4000 as i'll never be able to buy. He said no to every single suggestion and I'm stuck. the only thing he wants is for me to stay .

Joshua :

Thanks. I'm just reviewing the above.

Joshua :

If your partner is a joint owner of your property and you did not enter in to a declaration of trust or have any other evidence to show how you agreed to own the property, then the recent decision in the case of Kernott makes it quite clear the starting point for ownership is 50% / 50% in terms of shares in the property. However this can be shifted if you can show by reference to financial evidence that you have contributed more to the property and that there was no intention on your part to make a gift of such contributions to her or vice versa.

Joshua :

You continue to be liable for payment of any remaining mortgage with your ex but if you are no longer living at the property but he is (though you have a right to as a joint owner) you also has a right to be paid something called occupational rent to compensate you for his exclusive enjoyment of the property. There is no hard and fast rule as to what occupational rent should be in terms of money but courts generally rule that it should be equivalent to the interest element repayable against the mortgage or possibly a market rent adjusted to your share of the property.

Joshua :

The above 50/50 presumption can be shifted as above however the burden is upon your ex to show evidence as to why it should be shifted in his favour by reference to financial evidence. You would do well to consider reading the case of Stack v Dowden which would be a useful read as well as the very recent case of Kernott. An example of evidence that may be persuasive is that he did not share his finances and you kept them separate from each other. Any written agreements direct or indirect setting out how you would agree to share assets and liabilities in relation to the house or other matters could be of relevant. Any evidence that demonstrates on the balance of probability that he had no intention to make a gift of his greater contributions to you could be helpful to him but it may not be worth his contesting given the relatively small difference between your contributions therefore you may be able to pursue a claim to 50% of the value of the property.

Customer:

No we did not make any declaration of trust. And I'm not bothered if he's entitled to more even as I guess he can prove that he paid more than me and I can prove that I paid for new bedroom, bathroom, and loft ect. However he does earn nearly 40 grand and I earn nearly 14. I used to put 600 per month into joint account and he put 800. he said that this was what he thought was right. I'm not so bothered about the money as such but I am bothered about getting free. Does it mean I may not get a penny from sale of the house?

Joshua :

In terms of the abusive behaviour, you can consider applying for a non molestation order. This is a court order aimed at preventing your partner from using or threatening violence against you, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you, in order to ensure your health, safety and well-being. You can also consider applying for and occupation order providing that you can live in the property for a period whilst you find somewhere else to live if you wish. This would also allow you to recover your possessions unless he removes them from the property. Ideally you would have some evidence of abuse you claim and therefore a report to the police and or social services may be considered. You may ask any counsellor to support you in this respect.

Joshua :

You have the right to your belongings. You do not have any rights vis a vis your partner in terms of a financial settlement other than the jointly owned property as above following the end of your relaitionship in and of itself other than the return of your belongings and any money you may have lent him. "Common law wife" which is sometimes referred to has no legal standing in the UK though there are calls to change the law in this respect.

Joshua :

Ideally you would be able to agree a division amicably or through mediation. If you cannot each of you would need to be mindful of legal costs if the matter goes to court. However if possible at all you would avoid a court application because court fees for a reasonably straightforward TLATA claim can be anything from £750-1750 and can be more if litigation is extensive.

Joshua :

However based upon what you say the starting point if the matter went to court would be that you are entitled to 50% of the property with it being up to your ex to argue for a shift in his favour if he believes he has evidence to support that as above. However you certainly would be entitled to credit for the improvements you made and any other capital contributions you made.

Joshua :

A typical TLATA application might look something like this:


You may apply to the court for: 1. A Declaration that the Property and the net proceeds of sale thereof belong to the Claimant and Defendant in shares ??:?? or such other shares as the Court may decide. 3. An Order that the Property be sold with the Claimant to have conduct of the sale and that the Defendant do join with and co-operate with the Claimant and take all steps and execute all documents necessary to effect the sale of the Property failing which a District Judge of this Court will have the ability to sign such documentation in place of the Defendant. 5. Such provision as the Court shall see fit in relation to occupational rent. 6. Such further or other relief as the Court may deem appropriate.

Joshua :

You will note from the above that in the event he refuses to cooperate to buy out your share the court can make an order for the sale of the property and that you have the conduct of the sale and if necessary that the court will sign any deed of transfer necessary in place of your ex.

Customer:

Thanks Joshua

Joshua :

A pleasure. Your ex canot hold you to ransom or trap you in coownership of the property however ideally you would be able to come to an agreement outside of court through mediation or otherwise

Joshua :

If you need any support from a solicitor if you cannot reach agreement, consider a solicitor from the below service:
http://www.resolution.org.uk/

Customer:

I feel you have given me some good information. I Bought most of my own belongings to the house and I am willing to split the belongings half and half . However he is disagreeing with everything. I know hes just being obstructive .Can I take what I feel is acceptable even if he wont give me permission. I have hired a van for tomorrow. I'm a bit scared he will start trouble or come round to the house. what does the law say when posessions

Joshua :

if you take the belongings you believe belong to you, if your ex partner disagrees with your assessment, it is open to him to issue proceedings in the County Court to recover those belongings he believes belong to him or the value thereof in default of there being returned. In such circumstances, it would be up to him to demonstrate that bought the longings he claims belong to him or otherwise that you bought for him as a gift. In most cases, a couple find it difficult to produce specific financial evidence demonstrating ownership of a particular item and typically it is down to who a judge believes in what he believes is reasonable in the circumstances in terms of dividing assets. if he threatens to involve the police, they will have no interest as this is a civil issue not a criminal one

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?

Customer:

Yes That's fabulous. He sadly wont go to mediation. I realise all the things he's telling me are bullish threats and I believe the stuff I'm leaving is more than fair. I've even said that the stuff we don't agree on we can sell and share the proceeds. Also over the last year I have kept a diary of the emotional abuse, stalking, invasion of privacy. I also have been having therapy. My Gp is aware of the emotional impact. I have aggressive voicemails and texts.

Customer:

Thanks Joshua

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