Let me summarise the facts and tell me if I am wrong in any way.
All this was verbal.
You invested some money and labour in the property with a friend the deeds were in his sole name.
You did that on the basis that you would have a proportionate share of any increase in value.
The property has increased in value but not sold.
The property has now been rented and you had not had any rental income.
The friend is refusing to repay you the initial investment, your time/labour, any rental income or sell the property at a reduced price.
Is that the situation?
do have proof of the payments which you made and what you spent, such as bank statements, receipts, etc?
This is potentially Promissory Estoppel or more likely Propriety Estoppel but the end effect is ultimately the same. You are offered a benefit and you relied on that offer to your detriment and hence, your friend is estopped from denying you the interest.
Even if we take this down to contract level, there was an agreement for you to do work and the payment would be a share of the property. Notwithstanding that he may have offered you a share of the property, you are entitled to payment for the work on a quantum meruit basis. That would all your labour at the going rate plus the cost of materials including element of profit.
The only difficulty you have here is proving that he wasn’t just going to pay you for the work proving that he said that you could have a share of the property. These matters are decided on the balance of probabilities and your argument would be, “why would I spend all this money on the property and all this time and not get paid unless there was something substantial in it for me”.
He will argue that you are only entitled to be paid for the work and the materials and you never meant to have an interest in the property and it would be for the judge to decide which version of events he believed.
Ultimately if your friend refuses to say you your share of the proceeds or for your labour or material, you have no option but to take him to court.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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I’m saying that at the very least, you did the work in your entitled to be paid for the labour and the materials because, after all, why would you give those for free? That’s the very least you could expect if the court didn’t accept that you did it because you had been promised a chunk of the equity of the property.
Whether the court accepted that you had been offered a chunk of the investment would come down to how persuasive the arguments were for or against.
With regard to the value of the claim, I would do a mathematical calculation of the value of the work that you put in compared to the increase in value of the property, taking into account the original purchase price.
If you can prove that you have a financial interest in the property which he hadn’t paid, then the percentage of the financial interest with the same percentage interest in the rental.
Remember that if this goes to court and you lose for any reason or he makes a Part 36 offer of £35,000 and the court doesn’t offer you more than £35,000, you will have to pay the court costs and his solicitors costs from the date of the offer.
You can issue the claim online but because of the amount being disputed being over £10,000, would not be Small Claims Court and hence there is always a costs risk.
You have to consider whether you are better accepting the £35,000 rather than arguing over £50,000.
It depends on the terms of the acceptance of the £35,000. Done properly, and correctly worded, usually by solicitors, it would preclude you getting the other £15,000.
If it’s simply a loose agreement between you, there is plenty of case law which says that you can accept this £35,000 under duress/pressure and then sue for the balance.
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