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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have joint ownership of a property with my x partner. I am

Customer Question

I have joint ownership of a property with my x partner. I am on the freehold, and both of us are on the leasehold.We have been discussion a figure for me to be bought out by my x partner. Negotiations have broken down and come to a halt. We cannot agree on a price or method of calculation. This was to buy me out. So I have suggested that I buy my X out. My x partner refuses to even consider this, let alone discuss it. Please tell me what are my options and next steps. I tried to resolve this in a friendly manner, but it is going nowhere.
We have been paying an equal amount towards the debt associated with the property and I have made an initial investment of 54% at the time of purchase and immediately after that, £5 000 on refurbishments.

Can I take legal action and what is that?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

May I confirm with you for the avoidance of doubt that you are not married and that you have no children please?

JACUSTOMER-v4ehqgv1- :

CORRECT

Joshua :

Many thanks. When you purchased the property did you enter into any form of declaration of trust to your knowledge? Do you know if you are registered as tenants in common in equal or some other share or joint tenants?

JACUSTOMER-v4ehqgv1- :

No DOT. I believe as joint tenants. I will have to change change check to confirm 100%

Joshua :

Thanks

Joshua :

If your ex partner is a joint owner of your property and you did not enter in to a declaration of trust or have any other evidence to show how you agreed to own the property, then the recent decision in the case of Kernott makes it quite clear the starting point for ownership is 50% / 50% in terms of shares in the property. However this can be shifted if you can show by reference to financial evidence that you have contributed more to the property and that there was no intention on your part to make a gift of such contributions to them or vice versa

Joshua :

Your ex is jointly liable for payment of any mortgage with you.

Joshua :

There are a variety of ways you could potentially agree on splitting the equity. Though not an exhaustive list, you could a) agree that your initial respective capital is returned and any balance split 50/50; b) you could convert your initial contributions into percentages and share the net proceeds in those same percentages; c) you could add together your respective initial contributions together with any monies you have made for improvements and or capital reduction of mortgage and convert those respective totals into percentages and split the net proceeds along those lines. You are free to agree anything you are both satisfied with.

Joshua :

If you are unable to agree as to how to divide the property then ultimately you or your ex have a right to apply to the courts for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act and to determine your respective shares in the property. The courts have the power to impose a settlement based on what they believe is fair based on the evidence you can both bring.

Joshua :

Ideally you would be able to agree a division amicably or through mediation. If you cannot each of you would need to be mindful of legal costs if the matter goes to court. Your ex cannot simply refuse to sell or buy your share out. This is not an option available to them. However if possible at all you would avoid a court application because court fees for a reasonably straightforward TLATA claim can be anything from £750-1750 and can be more if litigation is extensive. A typical TLATA application might look something like this:

Joshua :

You may apply to the court for: 1. A Declaration that the Property and the net proceeds of sale thereof belong to the Claimant and Defendant in shares ??:?? or such other shares as the Court may decide. 3. An Order that the Property be sold with the Claimant to have conduct of the sale and that the Defendant do join with and co-operate with the Claimant and take all steps and execute all documents necessary to effect the sale of the Property failing which a District Judge of this Court will have the ability to sign such documentation in place of the Defendant. 5. Such provision as the Court shall see fit in relation to occupational rent. 6. Such further or other relief as the Court may deem appropriate.

Joshua :

If there is no dispute as to facts but only as to figures then you may choose to apply on a part 8 claim form as follows:

Joshua :

Some people will try to conduct their own claim but such claims are not straightforward and a solicitor would be well advised

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-v4ehqgv1- :

Thank you Joshua. Am I able to go to court requesting to buy my x out?

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you - I have been travelling. Yes in deed - as above you can seek an order under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act however you cannot force her to sell you her share. You can require her to buy out your share or sell the property. If she is unwilling or unable to buy out your share you can force a sale of the property at an amount determined by a court in the absence of agreement and there is nothing stopping you making an offer for her share of the property as determined by the court.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with on the above?

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