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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently bought a house with my girlfriend. We have a tenancy

Customer Question

I recently bought a house with my girlfriend. We have a tenancy in common rather than joint ownership, and a record of the contributions to the deposit are held by the conveyancing solicitor. The relationship has run into difficulties, and I am wondering about the financial and legal implications of a breakup. If the relationship dissolves, what are the options regarding the division of the property, etc.?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Do you have a signed deed of trust?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, the signed deed of trust is held by the conveyancing solicitor.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
How does the deed of trust say you should split the property?
Are you both in agreement that the property should be sold?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

50/50 in terms of equity, etc., but with heed paid to the deposit contributions which was lopsided (about 35k from me versus about 7k from her - from memory).

My question is in anticipation of this being an issue, it is not yet an issue. However, in the event that we split up, I believe strongly that my partner would not want to sell.

Thanks.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The deed of trust will be all that you need to show that:
(i) You should be returned your deposit contributions as you originally contributed to the property; then
(ii) After any mortgage has been paid and any bills your split the balance 50/50.
Unfortunately you wont be able to force your partner to sell without her consent or a court order. If she insisted in staying in the property you could either :
(i) Arrange for her to buy you out;
(ii) She would potentially have to pay you rent for half the property.
Are you both in the property still?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, we are both in the properly currently. Like I said already, I am just trying to anticipate what could happen rather than respond to its reality - to empower myself if the dissolution of the relationship happens.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
There is nothing really you can do to "empower" yourself, although I understand your concern. Ultimately your right to the property is protected by the deed of trust and your status as a legal owner.
You main consideration needs to be to try and come an amicable agreement to sell the property quickly. If you have a joint mortgage you remain jointly and severally liable for this, that is why you need to sell so you can extract yourself from the mortgage so your finances are no longer linked to your partner.
Do you think you will have no co operation from her?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I meant "empower myself" in the sense of being properly informed about the situation.

She will not want to sell, and will not be able to buy me out immediately. She will want a situation where she remains in the property.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Are we done now? Because each time you ask me a direct question, I reply, expecting that you will respond. Until now, you have fulfilled my expectations...

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Each time you responded to me you asked me a direct question - to which I gave a response. This worked fine for several "turns" but after receiving my last answer you just disappeared. I then sent an additional question about whether we were done, and you seemingly ignored that as well. Leaving me hanging like that in a situation that is clearly difficult and stressful for me is certainly not good practice, and is barely acceptable - hence the "poor" rating.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
The operative asked me questions in each part of his answer, and when I answered the most recent of them he just left me hanging...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still waiting for some sort of response....

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I think my colleague has opted out.
I can confirm that his answer above is correct.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is not bad news in so far as all I wanted to do was understand my position - whatever it may be. However, he seemed to make a lot of assumptions, and then seek clarification from me about details of o ne sort or another.

I was very frustrated about the fact that he simply stopped responding to me after I kept answering the questions he posed. I assume that the answers were consequential, but if not he could have simply ended the interaction in a more socially acceptable way!

Thanks for your input.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem. All the best.

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