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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25951
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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, I bought a flat with my ex boyfriend we're not married.

Resolved Question:

Hi, I bought a flat with my ex boyfriend we're not married. He wants me to sell my share to his parents. However, I am not ready to step off of the property ladder. We own the property 50/50 but put in different deposits and had a deed of trust drawn up saying we'd get our cash deposits back and split the increase in equity 50%. Can he force me to sell? What would he have to do to force a sale to him?
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.Can you confirm if you have any children together please?Who put in the larger deposit of the two of you?Who is living in the property presently? If just one of you can the other move in if they wish?Do you recall what you provided for in your deed of trust for notice periods for selling?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No children

He put the larger deposit, it came under a tenancy in common.

He is living there as it is around the corner from his work. He has been there since Jan. I have paid the mortgage up until the end of April.

He will then cover it as I have to pay private rent whilst allowing him to live there, also foregoing any private rent we could benefit from if we let the property out

We didn't provide for notice periods as far as I am aware in the deed of trust

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Finally just focusing on your not living there - are you not living there out of choice or because he is not willing for you to live there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well we are not together and I agreed to be nice and allow him to stay as it is convenient for him for work. Also it would be a bit stressful if we both lived together. I stayed for the first 2 months, he's been there for the last 4 months.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. If your partner is a joint owner of your property and you entered into a declaration of trust the terms of that declaration of trust will form the basis of regulating your rights in terms of equity in the property. In addition if you have agreed terms as to what notice period each of you must give, thoug you think that you have not, those would also likely be enforceable so it is worth checking the terms again to ensure you know everything that is provided for in the trust deed. You both continue in law to be liable for payment of any remaining mortgage though you are free to agree between you who pays in practice. Remember that any missed payments will reflect on both your credit reports so it is important one way or another to keep up repayments. If you are no longer living at the property though you have a right to as a joint owner you also have a right to be paid something called occupational rent to compensate you for your partnes exclusive enjoyment of the property. If he is more than willing for you to occupy but you have chosen not to live there then he may be able to defend against such a claim. There is no hard and fast rule as to what occupational rent should be in terms of money but courts generally rule that it should be equivalent to the interest element repayable against the mortgage or the market rent for the property discounted by the percentage share your partner owns. In terms of any sale of the property, as above principally the trust deed will regulate how quickly this might happen if there are provisions dealing with length of notice required and so on but if the trust deed is silent on this front then your partner can give you notice that he either wishes you to buy out his share of the property or that he requires that the property is sold or that he is willing to make you an offer for your share. It is not possible for you to refuse to do anything in these circumstances. Either you must agree to sell the property on the open market or muy out his share or for him to buy out your share. You are not required to sell your share for less than market value though. Ideally you would be able to agree terms between you but if you are unable to agree as to how to divide the property then ultimately you or he have a a right to apply to the courts for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act and/or to determine your respective shares in the property. The courts have the power to impose a settlement based on what they believe is fair based on the evidence you can both bring. To reiterate again he cannot make you sell your share for less than market value but he can force a sale at market value if he wishes subject to reasonable notice. In such circumstances the only way to avoid selling the property is to make a market offer for his share. As above ideally you would be able to agree a division amicably or through mediation. If you cannot each of you would need to be mindful of legal costs if the matter goes to court. However if possible at all you would avoid a court application because court fees for a reasonably straightforward TLATA claim can be anything from £750-1750 and can be more if litigation is extensive. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
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