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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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UK property law: My sister, has been with her longterm

Customer Question

UK property law: My sister, Jane has been with her longterm boyfriend for 15 years. They have two boys together a 13 and 10 year old. They bought a house together 10 years' ago with both names on the mortgage. When Jane found Tom had been having an affair she asked him to leave the property initially, which he did. He wanted to still see her and also see other women. The property was burgled and the boys were too scared to stay there, so Jane moved in with mum and dad. This was a year and a half ago. Her ex, then moved back, with a succession of other women. He refused to sell the house. Jane applied to rent but was told that her credit rating was too poor as the mortgage had not been paid on the house. The ex wrote her a letter saying he had intercepted all of the mail previously. They had also taken out a 30.000 loan on the house together. Jane has been to a solicitor who says she is liable for half the loan and has no rights on the house. She has been to a mediator but her ex refuses to go. The ex has refused to pay child support so Jane took him to child support and it is now taken directly from his wages. He is earning a fair whack as he is a managing director of a sales company. My sister works part time in a clothes shop. Can you help? I am in Australia and feel as if I am not there to help her. Julie *Jane also put down the entirety of the deposit of 20,000 pounds from her previous property. She has been told she is also not entitled to any of that back

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
How much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for getting back to me.

I don't know how much the house is worth or how much is outstanding on the mortgage. They have had it for about 10-11 years but it's an interest only mortgage. I know it's gone up. I've just called my parents and I'm waiting for dad to get back to me to see if he knows. The problem is that Jane's ex is, and has been, very controlling and is emotionally abusive both with her and the children. He's bombarding her with texts and turning up at her workplace. He's threatened to commit suicide before and now he's also emailing the children and by turns telling them that Jane is going to go off and get another family but he loves them totally, and then completely ignoring them.

He's ground her down over so many years and taken complete control of the finances. Now she feels like she's failed and won't talk to any of us, just burying her head in the sand saying that the one solicitor she's been to has advised her she is not able to get anything back from the house because she's not married. Which doesn't make any sense at all to me.

A 3 bed house in the same area would cost between $290,000 (pounds) to $320,000.

Thanks,

Julie

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi again Clare,

I've re-read my original question - Tom, Jane's ex has defaulted or been late on the mortgage at least twice but hasn't told her until bailiffs arrived (once, that I remember). I'm not sure if she has the paperwork for the original mortgage lender. Dad's calling me back about 10.30 your time so I will email you again then.

Thanks again.

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - the house is owned jointly - that is correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, the house is owned jointly in Jane and Tom's names. Jane put down the full deposit of 20,000 pounds. Tom took charge of paying the mortgage after that and Jane gave up her job to look after the children. He earns upwards of 100,000 pounds per year plus bonuses as CEO of a dairy sales company so he has the money to pay it. It is an interest-only mortgage and house prices in that area have increased a lot over the past 4-5 years, Dad says.

I've just spoken to Dad and he's going to find out how much the house is worth and how much equity is in it. He also says Jane told him that the only way she can force a sale is to go to court, and the solicitor told her that would cost 30,000 pounds. This sounds rather a lot.

Thanks Clare,

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
As soon as I have the figures there is way forward
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Great! Thanks Clare. As soon as Dad contacts me, I'll let you know.

Julie

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I've been looking again on the internet for 3 bed houses in the area. There's one for $257,500 in the school area that's the cheapest and also isn't horrible.

Thank you so much, the relief in Dad's voice was palpable.

Happy New Year and speak soon.

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Would your sister return to the property if her ex can be forced to leave?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Difficult to say. Probably not, after everything that's gone on there with other women etc. If she did, she would have to fit burgler alarms and get the security fixed. It's on the side of an alley leading to woods and fields where the local kids go to drink- it's pretty easy for anyone to scale the house fences. Maybe if they got a dog?

I doubt it though, she's got too much pride and the eldest boy doesn't want anything to do with his father. It would probably bring back too many memories if they moved back. Tom was quite shouty and unstable (well, at least at home, not at his work). The police were called out a couple of times. The eldest boy took a lot of emotional abuse. He's developed a lot of confidence and come out of himself since he's been with my mum and dad.

I'll find out and get back to you, but thinking about it, I'd say probably not.

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you know if she could raise a mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Mum and Dad would give her a deposit, for sure. Dad says she's getting 2,000 pounds a month in childcare and taxes etc. she's also working part-time. She's been turned down for rentals because of her credit rating in the past. That may have been because she hasn't worked for a time though, although Jane says it was because Tom defaulted on the mortgage payments.

However she did get a letter from a credit card company a year or so ago offering her a credit card, so I'm not sure what's happening. If she took out a card, bought something on it and then paid it off the credit companies would see she was earning?

,

I don't think she's thought about that as an option, Clare. I'll mention it to Dad next time I speak to him. Thinking about it, she probably could if it weren't for her poor credit rating - then again, we have to check that and see if it's still low. ***** *****kes to play power games so if he found out he'd definitely default just to keep her under his thumb.

Dad's offered to try to find the 15,000 (joint loan taken out on the mortgage), so he and mum could def. find that as a deposit somewhere down the line.

It's certainly a possibility..

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your sister may well have misunderstood what she was told.
As a joint owner of the property she can force the sale at any time - and if she can prove that she paid the deposit then she may well get that back plus half of any equity
There is no question of this costing her £30,000 or anything close
That assumes that she does not wish to return to the property.
If she did then she could make an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act for an Order allowing her to return there and forcing her ex to leave.
She could then stay there until the youngest child is 18.
Alternatively she can use Schedule 1 of the Children Act to claim all the proceeds of sale (after the mortgage and loan have been paid off) to allow her to rehouse the children. her ex would then receive his share when the youngest child is 18.
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 2 years ago.

Clare,

I could jump through the telephone wires and give you a big hug.

Thank you so much. I've just phoned Dad with the good news. He and mum had been on the phone to me over Christmas thinking Tom would take half of their house, Jane would have to declare herself bankrupt and they would have to change their will.

If Dad and my sister wanted to get back in touch with you to employ you properly to start this process, could they do that? I see you have the email profile and I will probably contact you at a later date to be able to set that up; Dad's a Luddite and can't use computers.

I hope you would be available for private work for my family.

Really, thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Happy New Year from Australia :)

Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome
I am able to offer some additional services in the future if appropriate although face to face advice is not a possibility I am afraid
Clare