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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I bought a property 7 years ago jointly with my then partner

Customer Question

I bought a property 7 years ago jointly with my then partner (not married). We separated 12 months later. I remained in the property with our son who is now nine. Soon after leaving, my ex asked that the property be sold as he wanted to be released from liability on the mortgage. This was not an option due to negative equity. The requests have been made on and off over time. I have just accepted an offer on the property and will clear around 5k after the mortgage is paid off and fees. He has not contributed to the mortgage payments since leaving ( almost 6 years). I have done substantial work to the property none of which he has contributed to. I have received several letters from his solicitor stating that he wanted the property to be sold. One letter stated that he didnt want any proceeds from the sale just to be released from his liability. Unfortunately I cannot locate the letter. He is now saying that he has changed his mind and wants some of the proceeds....can he do this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 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.
What work have you done on the property and what did it cost?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi...Thanks for your reply. The property was purchased in original state and although myself and my ex did some of the work it was still very much in an unfinished state when we separated. I borrowed money (£4000) from my parents to finish the bathroom and kitchen (tiling and general cosmetic work) and have, in the years since we separated, done general work such ad replacing carpets etc...


 


Lisa

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Was any of that other work also structural ?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No...it was just basic cosmetic work.


 


Lisa

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No..it was just basic cosmetic work.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Do you have evidence that the £4000 was spent on the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No....there would be bank statements showing purchases of tiles and paint etc dating back to the time but the work was done by a handyman and I didn't get receipts from him...


 


Lisa

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No....there would be bank statements showing purchases of tiles and paint etc dating back to the time but the work was done by a handyman and I didn't get receipts from him...

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Has he been paying child maintenance?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Was it an endowment or a repayment mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is an interest only mortgage but we do not have an endowment policy...

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - do you wish to move now or are you selling because you feel forced to?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A bit of both if I'm honest. His solicitor has threatened a forced sale in the past which was not seen through. However it's always hanging over us and we get intermitient letters from his solicitor asking where the "situation" is up to so we just want free of him and as the property market seemed to have picked up we decided to test the market and it has sold quickly. He solicitor sent a letter saying he didnt want any proceeds from the sale, just to be relaeased from the mortgage but now a sale is going through he say's he has changed his mind and want's a share (of a very small amount) which will mean I have no deposit to purchase anything else.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When you say "we" - do you have a new partner that you live with?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, we have been living in the property together for 4 years and have 2 children together.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Ok.
Has the solicitor said that your ex has changed his mind - or just your ex himself?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just my ex. He messaged me out of the blue yesterday asking "how much will I get from the sale". I called him to try and have a conversation about it. I said I had received a letter from his solicitor stating he didn't want any money from the sale just to be released from his obligation under the mortgage and he simply said "that was 3 years ago, I have changed my mind".

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just my ex. He messaged me out of the blue yesterday asking "how much will I get from the sale". I called him to try and have a conversation about it. I said I had received a letter from his solicitor stating he didn't want any money from the sale just to be released from his obligation under the mortgage and he simply said "that was 3 years ago, I have changed my mind".

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
I suggest that you write to his solicitor pointing out that you agreed to the sale on the understanding that the small profit would be yours to enable you to house yourself based on the letter that they had sent to you.
say that unless you receive an assurance that this is indeed the vase then you will have to withdraw from the current sale to allow time to negotiate the basis on which the equity will be divided.
Point out that this sill take some time as you will need to obtain evidence of the monies that you have spent improving the property
Hopefully the reply will be that he will not pursue a claim
If not then you will need to put together whatever evidence you have of monies spent on improvements to the property so that you can claim credit for them
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you....your advice has been more than helpful.


 


Lisa

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome I hope all goes well
Clare