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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 713
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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I am not sure whether you will be able to offer any advice,

Customer Question

I am not sure whether you will be able to offer any advice, but i would be interested in your opinion.
The issue is over the division of the proceeds of the sale of a property that i bought with my, then, fiancee.
When we bought the house 2 years ago i put in £100,000 deposit and we agreed that, if the relationship were to fail, that the deposit would be mine and the profits of the house sale we would split equally. She did not put in any money towards the purchase.
Unfortunately i was not advised well my the conveyancing solicitor and we bought the house as joint tenants. I now understand that we should have bought as tenants in common and i should have had a written agreement protecting my investment.
We will stand to make around £80-85,000 on the house and i wish to move to divide this as we had already agreed. Giving my X-faincee around £40,000 to buy another property. otherwise i stand to lose not only any profit, but also some of my deposit.
As it is obvious that i would not have made this error had i been properly advised where do i stand? both with being able to save my investment and a portion of the profits, and also complaining about the advice that i received.
Thank you, ***** ***** for your advise.
Richard Southam
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.

Dear *****

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you.

Please can I ask you to clarify for me the figures.

Is the 80-85k profit not including the 100k that you put in?

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
the £80-85k is potential profit from the sale. We were renting the property for a year prior to buying it. The owner was interested in a quick sale and we bought it for £300,000. £70-80,000 below market price.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.


Thank you for confirming that for me.

The Law that deals with property disputes for unmarried couples is the Trust of Land Act. This remains the area of law – unless you married – which you have not stated – so I will presume that you did not.

The staring point for the court in a Trust of Land Act Claim – is that Joint Tenants are each entitled to an equal share of the equity.

That being said – your contribution was substantially more. You have also stated that it was always the intention that you would receive your deposit back. This must have therefore been verbally agreed with your ex at the time.

You need to seek a copy of the conveyancing file. There may be within that file some record of what both you and your ex’s intentions were at the time of the purchase.

If your ex is now disputing this position - It is possible for you to make an application to Court under the Trust of Land Act for a Declaration as to your the interest in the property.

There is no guarantee that the court will deviate from the starting position but with such a large deposit and if your ex was to confirm the verbal agreement then it may well might ring fence your initial contribution.

Litigation is a risk and a fully litigated case of this type would be in the region of £7 – 10k but weighed against the size of your deposit this may well be a risk that you want to run with.

You may want to give consideration to Family Mediation before you apply to court. Family mediation is informal but can try and help you both reach an agreement without the need for court. There are lots of 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.

In respect of the legal advice – if you are of the position that this was not pursuant to your instructions then a claim does need to be considered. Requesting the file will assist you in the first instance. Once you have a copy of the file – you can look to puruse a negligence claim.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Kind Regards


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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 713
Experience: Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
ukfamilysolicitor and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.Mediation is not an option. The other party has been given advice that she is entitled to to half and she is not prepared to move.
The paperwork states tenants in common. This form we signed at home after reading the solicitors notes that described the two types of tenancy. neither really applied to us, as were described, and we chose the one that was closest. but verbally stating that we would do as have described.This was not done in front of a solicitor. His paperwork also incorrectly describes the deposit come from both of us. but i told him, at our initial meeting (the one time we met face to face), that i was putting up the deposit.does this put them in a difficult position, having made errors in paperwork and advice?Does it make a difference that such large sums are involved? The other party will still walk away with £40k or above.If in court the other party decides the they "do not recall the conversation" what action can i take?can i make a claim for costs if i win the case?thank youRichard
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.

Hello Richard

Thank you for your response.

The inconsistencies in respect of the papers that you have retained from the transaction at the time do appear inconsistent.

You have now found yourself in a difficult position in respect of the legal advice, or possibly lack of legal advice, that you received at the time.

It should have been explained to you exactly what the difference were. It is therefore very important that you now obtain the full file.

This type of advice is key to this type of transactional circumstances involving a deposit being paid from only one party.

In respect of a Trust of Land Act claim – you can claim costs if you win. This does work both ways. A well timed Part 36 offer (offer to settle at fixed sum) can protect your position in respect of costs. This means that if you offer settlement and she refuses and then she later gets awarded less then what you offered – then this restricts her claim of costs against you – and makes your easier.

Let me know if I can help you further

Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Dear *****,I cannot think of any other questions at this time.The part 36 is a gem thank you.The rest must come from my solicitor and his continued advice. At least i know we are on the right path and am happy to move forward on this basis with regard to the other party and the advice i received.Thank you for your time in this matter.YoursRichard
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.

Glad I could help reassure you Richard

Kind Regards


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