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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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My mother-in-law lived with a man years. Towards the

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My mother-in-law lived with a man for 10 years. Towards the end of the partnership they bought a house in joint names. Shortly after he left - that was 9 years ago. He has never contributed a single penny towards the house. Now, due to health it is imperative that the house is sold and mother-in-law is re-homed. We have no address or contact details for this man. What are our options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgageWhat information DO you have about him
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house is worth approximately £65,000 and remaining mortgage is about £3,500.
We have name and date of birth. We believe he works for the Haulage firm N R Evans.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Who paid the deposit for the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was an ex-council house lived in before my mother-in-law met the fellah. There was no deposit and the purchase price from the council was £21,500 (mortgage originally was £21,500)
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Was the tenancy always in her sole name?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The tenancy of the council house was only ever in her name.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Excellent newsDo you know if any agreement was signed to limit the claim that he could make on the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No limit - nothing signed out of the ordinary joint mortgage
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
That is a shame but not necessarily a major issue - last point - do you remember how much the discount actually worth?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Deed of Conveyance States:
The value of the property was determined at time of purchase to be £39,000 and the discount to the purchaser(s) was £18,330. Purchase price being £20,670. At the moment I can't find anything more definitive about individual discounts.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
That looks like 50% discount which is helpful.Tracing her ex is unlikely to be a major problem.If you instruct an Enquiry Agent (Private detective) it is likely that he will be traced for a very modest sum (£100) or so.The difficulty is that legally he has a claim on the property despite the lack of financial contribution. A things stand at present he could claim 59% of the equity HOWEVER your mother in law can argue that she is entitled to a larger share as a result if the fact that she contributed the "discount" and of course she can claim credit for the capital she has paid off the mortgage - but you may well need to offer him some taken payment (£5000 or so) to get his signature on the sale documentation.This will be cheaper than apply to the courts for an Order for sale and to establish what his share should be.If he cannot be found then you can apply to the court for an Order for sale - but half of the proceeds will have to be held until he can be traced.I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. I am confused. How can he claim a greater share of the equity? Also last time there was contact (several years ago) he would not sell the house except for approx twice market value.
Assuming we can make contact, what do we have to do to get him to remove his name form the mortgage? Is there a legal precedent? If he refuses to do anything, and of course is still not contributing, what are our options? As I said, my mother-in-law will very soon require a different kind of house due to health reasons but obviously cannot move until this issue is sorted.
Is he legally allowed to determine the sale price of the property or can it be forced into sale at market value etc?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Sorry that was a typing error I did not pick up - it shoudl be 50%As a joint owner of the property your mother n law can apply to the court to force a sale - and can claim the costs form her exThe court can confirm the market value (and sign on the ex's behalf) if need be
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One more question. Assuming we can get into contact with him, is there any guidance on how to propose an out of court settlement? What should we stress and not stress etc?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You should write to him a clear letter setting out the financial points - the fact that the discount came from your mother in law, and that she has paid all the mortgage.You should send him three valuations and base an offer on thoseEmphasise that if you have to make an applictaion to the court then you WILL claim costs
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