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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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I have a 3 bedroom house solely in my name. I live with my 3

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have a 3 bedroom house solely in my name. I live with my 3 dependant children age 16, 11 and 9yrs. The children's father moved out in 2009 and refused to have any contact with them. In 2003 I bought the house we lived in through the council right to buy scheme. My ex partner gave me £4,000 towards the purchase, the rest of the purchase was paid by the council right to buy scheme. We were together for 22yrs and in total have 5 children together. During that time he refused to make any financial commitment with me stating that it was my house. We always had our finances separate. He refused to help with my mortgage or any bills, nursery, gas etc. The break up was due to him not helping with the finances. I have always worked and had to claim benefits to bump up my income. He lived bill free, coming and going as he pleased. During our relationship he bought 2 houses behind my back and rented them out without my knowledge. Since our break up he has been made bankrupt and lost all of his properties. He has now come back to me 7yrs later to make a claim on my property. His solicitors have asked for bank statements, tax returns, pictures of my home (my ex claimed he refurbished my home) proof of income etc from 2003 until 2009. I have visited my bank but due to the time scale I cannot provide these. They only go back 7yrs which takes me to 2009. His solicitors are threatening court action and stating that he has a beneficial interest in my house.
Please let me know how I can stop him from putting a charge on my property. I have told them it was a gift because at the time he refused to buy with me, but it's my word against his. He told me my house was rubbish because it was an ex council house. In 2011 I wrote a statement stating the above that he refused to buy with me and he gave me the money as a gift. He never denied this. Is it not unto him to prove that he paid the money to me. Shouldn't he be made to show his bank statements.
Thank you.
Lia
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Lia

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

Please may I ask:

- did you and your ex ever marry?

- was the only contribution that he made the £4k?

- did he ever pay the mortgage or add value to the house through renovation?

Kind Regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
HI Caroline
He refused to marry me.
His only contribution was £4K.
He refused to pay the mortgage and bills and did not make even 1 payment to me.
When he left the house was a mess I was in serious financial difficulty. During the early years when the house belonged to the council (1999) we did basic painting and decorating. He also removed the chimneys against my wishes. He has told his solicitors he added an extension and new kitchen which is not true. Since he has moved out I have added in patio doors, a new bathroom and kitchen and redecorated throughout.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Lia

Thank you for clarifying that for me.

The area of law that deal with these types of cases for unmarried couples is the Trust of Land Act.

Your ex will have a beneficial interest in your property but only to the extent of his contribution.

Your ex could chose to apply to court under the Trust of Land Act for:

1) A declaration as to his interest in the property and

2) An order for sale for sale of the property so that his interest can be realised.

Please note that the burden is on him to prove his case and not you to do it for him. If your ex is claiming that he has extended the property then he is going to have to try and prove this. The information that you have been asked for seems somewhat excessive and I do think that they are on a 'fishing expedition' to try and get you to prove his case for him rather than him doing this himself.

You have to be aware that your children will be a consideration for the court - if he did make the application to court - and give that you have 3 children living with you in the property - with him having only contributed such a small amount - then the court would be highly unlikely to order that the property be sold even if the court did declare that he had an interest in the property.

What I would suggest that you do is respond and state your position that his only interest id the £4k deposit. Perhaps suggest a payment plan as to how this would be repaid to him.

I would also suggest that you consider referring your case to family mediation. There are lots of family mediation services and there will be one local to you. Just google family mediation in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling. Family mediation will try and help you both agree his interest in the property and how this will be repaid without the need for court or solicitors. You can also suggest this to his solicitor.

If you are adamant that he has only ever paid the £4k, then hold your ground and do not worry. It is for him to prove that what he is saying is true. Whilst there would be no harm disclosing the documents that his solicitor has asked for - if you are adamant on him only having contributed the £4k, as your documents will corroborate this. If you cant get all the documents - do not worry - it sounds like he is trying to gather information to go to court anyway - so hold your ground about what his actual contributions were and ask his solicitor for him to provide you with the proof as to what he is saying about the extension. Tell them that you deny this and you expect him to prove it to you.

Do let me know if I can help you further.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience: Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Dear *****,Thank you for this information. As I suspected he will have to prove what he is saying, which is that as well as paying £4k he also paid the mortgage and bills (lies). I have invited him to mediation twice. Finally, he has refused unless I agree that he has a beneficial interest.He currently owes £25,000 in child maintenance which I might try and offset against his interest. Please advise me on some figures. My property is currently worth £475,000 (estate agents valuation based on a veiwing plus a property similar on the same road sold recently). Could I offer him maybe £8k (from the child maintenance), when he moved out my property was worth £225,000. The house prices have risen plus I have added value by replacing the kitchen and bathroom.Regards
Lia
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Dear Lia

Although the money he owes for maintenance and his beneficial interest are separate legal cases - mediation is informal and you can try and offset there. Otherwise you should consider enforcement in respect of the outstanding maintenance. He sounds rather cheeky if he owes that much!

If your position is he has only contributed £4k, then doubling this is more than fair.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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