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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25425
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I bought a property in 2008 with my boyfriend. It was a joint

Customer Question

I bought a property in 2008 with my boyfriend. It was a joint tenancy and a joint mortgage.
He paid the deposit and I paid the mortgage for the first 18 months. This was because we believed this would be fair so he could get half of his deposit back.
We sold the house following the breakdown of our relationship, and split the equity 50/50.
He has now emailed me 18 months after we sold the property stating that I owe him money. He wants what he says is his contribution to the property.
I have suggested he speaks to a lawyer as I don't believe I owe him anything, but I am unsure what I should do now. What advice can you give me?
Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 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 :

What contribution does your ex believe he is due precisely. Do you know what it is he is seeking?

Joshua :

Is he seeking some sort of recognition for any period he solely funded the mortgage or something else?

JACUSTOMER-ui2tcx3t- : No. He has not said, other than he thinks he put more into the property than me. I think he may want his deposit back, c. £100k. He's asked me for what I contributed.
JACUSTOMER-ui2tcx3t- : He did not find the mortgage solely at anytime.
Joshua :

Thanks. Obviously it is difficult to know how to respond if he has not quantified what he actually wants but it would probably be helpful if I outline the legal position so that you know exactly what you are/are not entitled to if and when he does make a specific demand. Would that be helpful?

JACUSTOMER-ui2tcx3t- : Yes. That would be very helpful. Thanks
Joshua :

OK so the starting point if you were not married nor had children together is that in the event of a breakdown in your relationship, each party is entitled to their respective property and has no claims against the others property.

Joshua :

In respect to joint property, there is a leal presumption in respect of joint property that each party owns 50% of that property. This is a presumption that can be rebutted but the burden is upon the party seeking to rebut the presumption and the test is relatively high

Joshua :

If a written agreement was made between the parties that departed from 50/50 ownership this would typically be enforceable. Alternatively if one party could show that they had made disproportionate contributions and that they had no intention to make a gift of that contribution (e.g. because they could show that they kept all their finances separate and arranged the affairs entirely separately from the other party) they can seek to vary that 50/50 presumption though the courts have been reluctant to vary the presumption without significant evidence

Joshua :

If one of you moved out of the property and the other had sole occupation of the same for a period, then the non occupying party may seek something called occupation rent for that period. Occupation rent is a discretionary award a court can choose to make to compensate the non occupying party but will not always be granted, and will often be calculated along the lines of the interest element of a mortgage or half the market rental value of the property depending on what is reasonable.

Joshua :

Finally if the property was sold and money divided between you at that time, there is an implied agreement by both of you that that division was settlement of your respective interests in the property. If either of you failed to make is clear that you considered you were entitled to more, whilst not fatal to any further claims, it would make such claims potentially more difficult in the future.

Joshua :

Accordingly at this stage there would appear to be little to be said as it is for him to quantify any demand he seeks to make not for you to help him along the way. All there is to say is that the net equity was divided between you as agreed following sale and the matter is settled and you don't propose to revisit the issue.

Joshua :

If he comes back with a more thought out demand, you can consider it in accordance with the above and then respond in more detail citing the reasons you do not believe his claims are justified in relation to the above and in particular because the matter was settled on sale of the property.

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

JACUSTOMER-ui2tcx3t- : That is really helpful Joshua. If and when he does respond can I contact you.
Joshua :

Yes please do. You can contact me using the following link or through this thread:
http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-joshua/

Joshua :

I will be please 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 please reply back to me though


JACUSTOMER-ui2tcx3t- : thanks
Joshua :

Best wishes

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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