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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8550
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My ex partner is the sole legal owner of a property. He

Customer Question

My ex partner is the sole legal owner of a property. He bought it 7 years ago and he said his bank wouldn't like it if I was on the title, which I trusted him that the property belonged to both of us. Upon exchange of contracts I refurbished the property and designed the interior before completion. I also provided half of the purchase price, and the other half was provided by my ex through a mortgage. I spent a lot of time working away last year, but I still regarded the property as my home and my belongings were there. Unbeknown to me my ex took a second mortgage on the property, meaning it was then mortgaged to the full value. My ex only recently told me about the extra mortgage when it became apparent he couldn't pay, and the bank wanted to reposes the property. I split with my partner when I found this out.
Secondary to this. I have now moved into a new relationship and bought a property with my new partner. The seller has removed items since I viewed the property after our contracts had exchanged, one is a sculpture in the garden and the other were some lanterns which were on the front of the house.
Please can you tell me my legal position with the finances I placed in the property of my home with my ex and what rights I have over the missing items on my new house?
Submitted: 27 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 26 days ago.

Regarding the first property, do you just want to know whether you can get any money out of it?

Is there any equity in it at all or has it now been repossessed?

Regarding the second property, what does it say in the seller’s property information form which your solicitor would have sent you explaining exactly what is leaving on what is being taken, with regard to the removal of any of the items which have now been removed?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I haven't even responded and the question is closed?????? I want to know my full legal position. There is no equity left. I don't remember if the items were listed on the inventory or not
Expert:  F E Smith replied 15 days ago.

The question is enclosed. It is still open we can still exchange emails.

I still need some more information from you please.

Regarding the first property, do you just want to know whether you can get any money out of it?

Is there any equity in it at all or has it now been repossessed?

Regarding the second property, what does it say in the seller’s property information form which your solicitor would have sent you explaining exactly what is leaving on what is being taken, with regard to the removal of any of the items which have now been removed?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you... I have already answered your question as best I can in my last response.....'I want to know my full legal position. There is no equity left. I don't remember if the items were listed on the inventory or not'
Expert:  F E Smith replied 14 days ago.

You would have an equitable claim (financial claim) against the equity in the property in respect of your input into the property both financial and physical. However the property is being sold and there is no equity, that share amounts to nil.

If the property is being sold at some stage in the future, and some of the equity has rebuilt, you have a claim against that equity.

Also have a claim against him in a legal doctrine of Promissory Estoppel because you relied on the promise by him that the property was owned by you both and you put money and physical work into the property. You would have course have to prove that he promised that but it would prevent him denying the promise.

If you want any money out of this, need to hope that is not going to sell the property until such time as there is some equity attached to it.

There is nothing you can do to prevent him selling the property in the short term unless you have a court order to renew a charge over the property and your financial interests.

Regarding the property that you’ve moved into, the legal situation is that if anything is attached to the property it becomes part of the property and hence, curtain rails are part of the property, light fittings are part of the property, garden ornaments are not unless, they are concreted into the ground. Hence, the garden sculpture is likely to be placed on the ground is not a fixture or fitting and could be removed without mentioning. The lanterns on the other hand should not have been removed unless it was noted in the Seller’s Property Information Form that they were going to be removed. The same applies to everything else.

The solicitor should have sent you the Seller’s Property Information Form advising you which items were being taken and which items were being removed. With regard to the light fittings, depends what was said on the Sellers Property Information Form.

If there was no mention of the light fittings being removed, you are entitled to the cost of replacing them although the seller refuses to pay up, be faced with taking the seller to court and it depends whether you want at expense and trouble.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

Best wishes.

FES.

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