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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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I jointly own a property with an ex partner which she has lived

Customer Question

I jointly own a property with an ex partner which she has lived in for the past 21 years, I have not made any contribution to the mortgage payments since leaving but conversely and have not charged her any rent for the use of my portion of the property. Initially I offered to buy her out but she rejected this and I have taken advice on several occasions regarding enforcing the sale but because of her health I have been advised that I have little chance of success. Now I have retired from work funds are a bit short and need to either release the capital in the property or alternatively reoccupy as much as will hate going back. I would be prepared to accept a quarter of the properties value, current worth approx. £165,00, so should I write to my ex and put this to her.Your thoughts would be welcome.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.

Matt Jones : Hi I will try and help.
Matt Jones : Does the property still have a mortgage against it?
JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

No, the mortgage was cleared some time ago, about 8 years I think, my ex has the deeds but I am first named on the same.

Matt Jones :

Hi thanks

Matt Jones :

I am not sure it is right to say that you could charge her half of the rent for living in your half of the house. the "interest" part of the mortgage could be seen to be the equivalent of rent, and she could argue that if you had lived there she would have only have to make a half of the interest payment.

Matt Jones :

In addition your partner has paid the full capital contribution. If you are to take a percentage of the equity then you will need to give credit for 50% of the capital contributions you were obliged to make under the mortgage.

Matt Jones :

Nevertheless you are a joint owner in the property and if she were to wish to sell, re-mortgage or occupy with someone else then she would need your consent. this may be incentive enough for you to make a proposal to her and suggest that an early settlement now would benefit all parties and draw a line under your relationship.

Matt Jones :

I hope this helps. By all mean ask any follow up questions.

JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

If I had carried on paying half the mortgage I was told that I would have been entitled to half a reasonable rent but as rents at the time were higher than the cost of buying, and as she was invalidity benefit at the time she would have been entitled to additional benefits, and as she told me not to go back if I went out the door I think that was her responsibility. She accused me of running another family and I wasn't at work as much as I said but I worked with her sister who on a number of occasions verified that I was at work, but that is complicated and another story.

JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

Sorry hit the wrong button before I had finished!

JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

The outstanding balance on the mortgage was around 17k when I left so would my request for around 40k be reasonable? If I die before her would she be able to challenge the share she receives? The offer I made to buy her out would have left her with no financial obligation and sufficient funds to purchase a flat and furnish it as I also offered to pay all the legal costs. I think her attitude could be construed as obstinate and vindictive.

Matt Jones :

hi thanks

Matt Jones :

if the balance on the mortgage was that low when you left then your liability would only run to about £8500 in any event, even using the most basic of calculations, so given the value of the property I think that £40,000 is very reasonable. they question is however, although reasonable could she raise this finance if she wanted to?

Matt Jones :

as to if you die before her,

Matt Jones :

do you know if you hold the property as Joint tenants or Tenant in Common (or do those phrases mean nothing to you?)

JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

The property is held as tenants in common, incidently your sever is filling my inbox with the same message every hour.

Matt Jones :

OK thanks. Sorry for the delay. As tenants in common you can leave your portion to someone in a will. She could challenge the contributions you should have made but the equitable portion will remain the same ( not sure what the server is doing. I am just the lawyer. I will refer this to customer services and the IT guys)

JACUSTOMER-ibriz4up- :

Explain please the term "equitable portion"

Matt Jones :

when I talk of equitable portion I mean basically the percentage of the equity that a person owns after the payment of any mortgage etc. Unless there was a specific deed of trust setting different portions (i.e. 60/40, or 70/30) then the inference is that the parties hold in 50% shares each

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