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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I purchased 2 properties in 2012 with a friend,mortgage free,

Customer Question

I purchased 2 properties in 2012 with a friend,mortgage free, as tenants in common, she was married the shares were 50% in my name, 25% each to the friend and her husband.The properties were bought as projects, the first propertyHorizon, needed renovation, and we planned to build an annexe to let as a holiday rental, I would live at this property, the 2nd property was bought as a holiday let, after much work this was put with a holiday rental company in late 2012. We had a witnessed verbal agreement with a solicitor, prior to purchase, the agreement was the same for both properties, we would jointly pay all costs, utilities, materials, labour costs, we would both work on the properties, putting in the same amount of hours, her husband would not be involved. Sadly, my friend did not maintain her side of the agreement, she has never paid for the utilities, I have done the majority of the work, she has not paid for her share of the work. They have instructed a solicitor, and after many letters, they are now going to make a claim, I think this is for an application to court for an order for sale of the properties, I am in agreement with selling the properties, (but as I have paid for works to be done, and I have put in a huge amount of hours working on both properties) but I have costs which would need to be settled. I have explained all of this to their solicitor, but I have been informed today they are making a claim. Will I be reimbursed for all the costs, and all my labour costs for both properties ( this was verbally agreed, but the solicitor now says this wasn't agreed, my friend is denying this) I gave up work to do these projects. Will I be able to make a claim for my costs. I have not instructed a solicitor, I don't the funds available. Deborah
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Was this property to live in or a commercial arrangement?

What is their claim for? A sale?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good evening Jo, both properties were bought as projects. The first property " Horizon", we agreed that I would live here, we would build an annexe and let this as a holiday let, we would then modernise the house, 2 years later it hasn't been done, ( the ex friend hasn't been here since October 2012). the second property Tranquility was bought as a holiday rental. The wording in the letter is as follows,


1. It was not agreed that the rental income would be put towards the coast of ongoing works. My answer, it was agreed.


2. It was not agreed that you could invoice our clients for any work or for your time in respect of the properties. My answer, it was agreed.


Unless you confirm that you have instructed solicitors, the claim will be serviced upon you directly without further reference to you.


It does not say what the claim is for, I guess they are making an application to court for an order for the sale of Tranquility.




Deborah Charlton

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. This would probably be classed as a commercial arrangement because you were not living in the property.

If the agreement was that your friend would pay various things and refused to do so, you can claim those costs from her, in the Small Claims Court if necessary. The same applies if it was agreed that you would get paid for the work that you did and the extra input that you put in.

However if this property is jointly owned, and they apply to court for an order for sale, they will get the order and they will get solicitors costs awarded against you and court costs so there is absolutely no point in resisting the sale.

What is in dispute therefore is the division of the proceeds and therefore I suggest that you agree for the property to be sold forthwith subject to the proceeds not being distributed until such time as the financial issues between the parties are resolved.

The difficulty you are going to face is proving what was agreed on what was not agreed which is what the solicitor is now saying his client has told him however do not let that hold up the sale of the property.

If ultimately, you cannot agree on how much the division should be, agree to distribute the proceeds but withhold the amount in issue.

Ultimately, if you cannot agree how much (if anything) should be paid in respect of your work that is for the court to decide but that is a much smaller and easier claim and, if that amount is under £10,000, will be Small Claims Court in all probability and therefore no solicitors costs would be awarded

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To clarify, if I agree to sell, will the Court order and their solicitors costs awarded against me? Will I have to pay?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If you agree to sell before court proceedings are issued even though they have instructed solicitors, there is absolutely no reason to issue proceedings and therefore you could ask the Court to refuse to award costs against you in their favour.

The situation is different if you give in once proceedings have been issued, and therefore I suggest that you agree to sell the property subject to resolving the finances after the sale, as soon as possible.

It might be an idea to get a solicitor to write that letter for you

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