The area of law that deals with property disputes in respect of unmarried couples is the Trust of Land Act.
As the property is in your ex’s sole name then he is the legal owner of the property.
It is possible for a non legal owner to have a beneficial interest in a property. There are 3 ways that a beneficial interest in a property can be obtained:
Payment towards the mortgage
Payment of a deposit
Adding value to the property through refurbishment / renovation.
I want to make distinction at this stage between items of your belongings in the property and adding value to the property – these are two separate issues and would be dealt with by the law as such.
In respect of the items that you have purchased - even if you had no beneficial interest in the property at all – you are still entitled to any belongings that you have purchased. Therefore the items such as the freezer, cooker, conservatory suite, soft furnishing – they are all your items and should be returned to you. It is helpful that you have evidence to confirm that you paid for all of these items.
In the first instance you should write to your ex partner setting the items that are yours and that you wish to be returned to you. You should set a timescale of say 14 days for these items to be made available for you to collect. You should set out that you are able to establish that you have paid for these items and should they not be returned to you then will apply to court for an order that these items be returned to you.
If your items are not returned to you then – then the correct action would be to make an application to your local county court for these items to be returned to you. This would be dealt with as a small claim.
Returning to the issue of adding value to the property and a claim under the Trust of Land Act. This would be your only route to having an interest in the physical property – as you have already confirmed that your ex would not allow you to pay the mortgage and you have not paid a deposit. For this type of claim you need to detail all the works you have paid for and completed in the property such and new bathroom etc etc.
You should consider referring to family mediation as they will help you and your ex discuss the issue. If no progress is made at mediation then you can apply to your local county court for a declaration as to your interest in the property. The onus is on you ro prove the works that you have undertaken.
Do let me know if I can help you further.
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