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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25486
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My late husband owned a property with a partner. Upon his

Resolved Question:

My late husband owned a property with a partner. Upon his death I inherited his half of the building (shop on ground floor and flat above). I have lived here for nearly 20 years. The shop was always rented and we split the rent with the business partner.

Five years ago, my husband died and to date I have been unable to lease or sell the property due to the partner sabotaging each attempt. Now, a buyer has been waiting for over one year to complete the purchase and I'm afraid he too will drop out due to the length of time she is taking to finalize documents etc.

Until last week, I was not on the deed and it was not registered in England as it didn't have to be when it was purchased in 1973. It made it difficult for me to get buildings insurance or really have any say at all. Now, I am on it.

I have several questions regarding the property.
1. Can I sell my half of the property to someone. If so, is there a minimum amount that would be considered legal? Could I complete paperwork myself for this.
2. Could I lease out the shop myself and pay her half the income received?

3. If the above is not possible, what can I do?

I am losing £750 - 1,000 per mo. and having to pay out £ 275 for business rates, for each mo. the shop is not occupied. I am unable to continue doing this, after 5 years.

My solicitor has quit as I cannot pay him. Taking her to court is not possible, as I do not have the funds. I am a pensioner on pension credit because of this woman! Her goal appears to be to ruin me completely, with no regard for her own loss of income.

Please advise.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if you know your co-owners motives. Surely they are keen to derive income from the property as well are they not?

Joshua :

Would you have the means or interest in buying their share or is this not possible or of interest?

Customer:

Hi, I am presently unable to purchase her share. She was the partner of my late husband before separating from him. She is jealous and vindictive....& wishes me to leave this place with nothing.

Joshua :

Oh dear. Thank you.

Customer:

The way the title or deed was held before, meant she would inherit it all, but that was changed and I have half. She never liked that.

Customer:

My solicitor has had enough and I can't pay him until all is completed, so don't know how I can enforce the present sale to complete.

Customer:

She has also insisted on handling each transaction herself; ie, the attempted leases and now this sale.....& I found the buyer!

Joshua :

It is not possible to give a valid lease without both of your consents as joint owners. You could consider a simple licence to occupy or tenancy at will for a short term letting whereby you allow someone into occupation on a short term basis but this may or may not be of interest to a prospective tenant. You would not be able to give any long term commitments under a licence or tenancy at will because the co owner may take steps to challenge the occupation. Accordingly you would need a relatively short ability to give notice to the occupier to leave.

Joshua :

If the coowner is refusing to cooperate in respect of any sale you have a right to demand that she either buys out your share of the property or that the property is sold on the open market at a price agreed by you both or in default of which as determined by the court under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.

Joshua :

She cannot refuse to do one or the other.

Joshua :

It is possible to bring an application to this effect yourself but it is not straightforward. With a solicitor you would expect fees to be upwards of £1500 which of course is not likely to be ideal at this point from what you say. You can however as part of the application apply to be given conduct of the sale to take the matter out of your coowners hands

Customer:

I see. Is there any way to enforce this besides going to court?

Customer:

Could I bring the application myself? That may be a solution or least I can threaten it.

Joshua :

Unfortunately if she will not agree to cooperate the only way to proceed is either via mediation or failing which a court order.

Joshua :

It is possible to bring an application yourself. You would typically apply using a part 8 claim form.


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 :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=424

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Yes, where can I get the claim form?

Customer:

Through the court?

Customer:

at your link provided?

Joshua :

Sorry yes the above link is the claim form you can use if there is no fundamental dispute over facts

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

OK.....the only dispute at present is that we each feel the other owes money. But by now it's really about even in that department.....lost rent etc.

Customer:

The business rates bill in also getting large. Can I claim that back from her, ie, monies I should not have to pay.

Joshua :

if there is a disagreement about how the proceeds of sale should be split as a result of any money that is claimed to be owed to the other this can be determined by the same application using the above application form.

Joshua :

She is liable for half of all outgoings for the shop which would include business rates

Customer:

Oh that would be wonderful. Seeing as my name has just last week been added to a new deed, I was made to feel at a disadvantage with regard to taking any action.

Joshua :

In truth this would have made no difference to bringing the above application providing you could have shown the basis for your right to be added to the title which obviously you could have done.

Customer:

She wants to control everything. She wouldn't put my name on the deed before, nor would she put it on the buildings insurance. Should a claim have resulted, she would have got the money for damages etc.

Customer:

So, it's time. Should I threaten to do this first?

Joshua :

You may consider writing to her expressing your concerns that you have failed to achieve sales previously highlighting the conduct you consider of concern advising that you would welcome a swift agreement between the two of you as to terms for a sale which is signed by both of you and for this to be achieved within xx days failing which you consider that you have little alternative but to make an application under TLATA to require the sale of the property on terms agreed or fixed by the court.

Joshua :

If she does not reply or does not reply positively you may consider the above application as clearly you cannot go one indeterminately in the way you are.

Joshua :

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Thank you for the information. If I think of something further to ask, can I bring another quesstion for you?

Customer:

You have been most helpful. Thank you!

Joshua :

Yes of course. You can contact me using the following link at any time or by returning to your account on this site.

Joshua :

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-joshua/

Joshua :

I would be delighted to assist further. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Customer:

OK, will do & thanks again.

Joshua :

Best wishes

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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