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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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You have helped me with a law question before. Can

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Hello, You have helped me with a law question before. Can I ask you another one?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. What do you wish to know about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

........we never draw up a formal Deed of Trust.

Soon after the purchase, my sister told me that she could not afford to make the monthly payments in full, and asked for my help again.

I was furious but I still agreed to help by making regular payments equal to half the monthly payments to her. I did this for almost three years!

My sister and I are no longer in good terms! She is now planning to sell the flat but is still claiming that she owns the flat outright. She is totally disregarding the fact that I had been paying for almost half the mortgage for all this time.

My questions are:

(1) Am I correct in assuming that my sister has broken our verbal contract by not making all the mortgage payments by herself?

(2) Can I legally claim half (or part) ownership of the property?

Thanks in advance.

Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Hello - thanks for the the additional information. Even without a formal deed of trust or any other written agreement you can claim a share of the property on the basis of your 'equitable interest'. In simple terms, a deed is written evidence of an arrangement between parties but even where a deed does not exist the fact that there was a verbal arrangement, corroborated by evidence of the transaction, is usually sufficient to exercise your rights. In answer to your two questions 1) Yes, you had an agreement which she has broken 2) Yes, so long as you can prove that an agreement existed between the two of you then you can claim your share of the property. I hope this helps, please remember to take a moment to rate my answer and I will be happy to answer any further questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Alice, Thank you for your reply.

Just a quick note on my second question if I may.

Indeed there is a hand written agreement between my sister and I whereby I agreed to her 100% share ownership. This is despite the fact that the mortgage was in both names. However, is it enough for me to now claim 50% share of the equity if I have been paying for half the mortgage payments? .... in other word, would I have a case in court if she makes an application under ToLATA?

Thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiI note that my colleague has opted out but I will try and help youWith regard to the agreement that you refer to - doe sit deal with who should pay the mortgage?Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Actually there is no formal agreement as such. We simply wrote a few lines by hand on the solicitor's Purchase Questionnaire under the heading "Any other matter:" as follows:

We have taken out the mortgage in my name (name supplied) because my sister (name supplied) could not get a mortgage on her own, so I am on the property by name and do not own any shares in the property as my sister is going to be paying the mortgage and will own 100% of the property".

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So the property is in fact Registered in your sole name and there is no formal Declaration of Trust at all?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Almost! There is no formal Deceleration of Trust, but the property is in both our names.

Note: My sister paid for the deposit, and I secured the mortgage with the lender. We both have been paying the mortgage.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So the mortgage is also in joint names?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes it is.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
OkHow much was the purchase price and how much was the deposit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Purchase price: £265,000

Deposite: £69,000

Current value: £400,000

Mortgage outstanding: £178,000

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
So your sister contributes about 26% of the purchase price - do you accept that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes I do. However, she has had sole use of the property throughout whilst I had to pay half the mortgage payments. Furthermore, It is through my ability to secure the mortgage that she managed to buy the property.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Since there is no formal Declaration of Trust then on the face of it the ownership is 50/50.However if your sister took this to court there is clear evidence that it was originally planned that the ownership would not be equal.Against that is the fact that as you have said you had to pay half of the mortgage which was never the plan and as you have said you did not have the benefit of living thereWhether that is enough to get you 50% is not certain - but one option would be that she recovers her deposit and the balance is then divided between youYou should try and discuss this with her using mediationI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for that. Just a last question: If she takes it to court would I have to pay for either side costs?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You would have to pay your own costs - but it is very very unlikely that the court would make a costs order against you
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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