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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35088
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi. I have been split up from my ex partner for just over 2

Customer Question

Hi. I have been split up from my ex partner for just over 2 years now, I own a house on a joint mortgage with her. I have lived in the house throughout from purchase. While we both lived in the house together and for aprox 10 months after she moved out, she paid towards the bills and I paid the full mortgage as I earned more than she did. She chose to move out, so I have taken over, from then, the cost of running of the house utilities bills, any repairs etc. then from then on she has just paid half the mortgage. Along with this while we were together I consoladated her car finance loads personal loan and credit cards onto a loan in my name as my credit rating was better. Then she agreed to pay it back per month at a set rate. After we split, after aprox 6 months she stopped paying this back completely.
I have had the house valued 9 separate times now proving that it is 30k in negative equity, as she tried through her solicitor to claim 6k from me for the house. After sending the valuations now through solicitor she is saying she would pay me 5k to change the mortgage souley into my name. She has said repeatedly they don't want it to go to court. However I have said if it isn't to go to court they have to make a better offer, and that I want at least the amount to clear her debts. She has said that she won't pay the debt money back as she didn't sign anything to say she would. I have some evidence about the debts she owes from the bank that the transactions took place in. I have the original loan agreement and also statements saying that amounts were transferred to my exes account to pay off loans etc, also I have many months worth of statements from then on showing she paid the same amount,350 pounds, into my account each month on the same date , online labeled each one with loan payment. So there was clearly an ongoing agreement for her to pay this money back.
Main questions.
1. Her solicitor has requested I send that evidence to her for her to look at. Should I do so before we have even talked about a proper offer or going to court? And if I should send anything what should I send?
2.Also I had a phone conversation with her solicitor as she wants me to pay for and attend mediation services, however I have made my position very clear in no less than 6 letters to her solicitor that the offer of 5k is no where near enough to leave me with my exes debts and the negative equity of the house over my head also. I said that I didn't see why I should pay 180 pounds to attend when she could make a better offer over the phone or in a letter.
She then went on to request the dept evidence. But also said to me that my ex can claim occupation rent off me as she hasn't lived in the house after she left. She still on paper owns a property so her other credit card payments etc etc are lower, we have no children together, and the property is in a lot of negative equity. Does the occupation rent apply to my circumstances or is her solicitor scare mongering me into making a quick settlement?
I really need to get her dept money back off her at least, I can't afford to have her debts over my head. I am a firefighter and my new partner is a nurse, we have a 5 month old child together, so shift work and child care issues prevent either of us getting second jobs. So I'm weary of making a rash settlement and being scare mongered into making the wrong descision about it.
Your help would be great fully appreciated.
Thank you.
Ben deeming.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
How much did you spend on paying off her debts?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi. The house was bought for 173,000. However because I'm a firefighter I had a key workers deal tyrough the builders where they put a second charge on the house and leant me 53,000 towards the sale. This charge is taken straight away if the property is sold. I have had the house valued a number of times, the average is 143,000. So realistically it is worth 90,000. There is still 111,000 outstanding on the mortgage. Added to the values though, I alone put 6000 into the deposit of the house.
As for the debts. i took out a loan in my name to consolodate her car finance personal loan and credit cards. Also included my own personal loan. The loan I took out was 24,000. Her debts totalled half of that loan, also ran up another 4000 on my credit card while we were together. She agreed and was paying these off at 350 per month from the start, until 4 months after we split. I managed to pay her share for a couple of months. I then sought advice from a financial adviser as I was struggling with paying it all. They advised me to approach the lenders and request payment breaks, and resulted in a sort of iva. So science then I have been registered with bad credit and defaults on the loan.
I hope that makes some sense. Ben
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Can you actually obtain her release from the mortgage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry about my ignorance of terminology , but if you mean will she agree to sign off the mortgage then yes, she actually wants that. If you mean to get a mortgage offer my self then yes, myself and my girlfriend have approached the lender and they have told us that my girlfriend can go on the mortgage for the property.
The questions I was wondering really were aboutt my exs solicitor saying about my ex claiming occupiers rent on the property? Would this apply to my situation or is she using scare tactics to try and make me settle on a lower offer?
Also about what info am I legally obliged to hand over to her solicitor about the debts she ows me?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
My apologies - what I mean is have you checked that the mortgage company will release your ex from the mortgage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry. Yes they are willing to
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
The occupation rent is set off by the fact that you have paid the mortgage in full during this period.
You should send her solicitor details of the debts that she ran up and the repayments that she did make and point out that this constitutes an acknowledgement of the debt by her.
You also need to agree to al least one mediation appointment - the court will not be pleased if you do not at least try mediation
Having said that I suggest that you ask for £16,000 - but settle for £12,000!
Please ask if you need need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the advice. I was wondering also about the law or circumstances involved in my ex's claim that she would be entitled to claim occupiers rent off me. The house has never been in positive equity from well before we split up, also we don't have any children between us and she has never been stopped from returning to live in the house, as she is the one that decided to move out back to her parents, where she only pays a nominal boarding fee. Ben
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
If you had not been paying the mortgage then yes she would have been able Occupation Rent since you were living with and she was not - the fact that it was her choice would not be relevant I am afraid
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What are the rules or stipulations to do with occupier rent please?
It is confusing me a bit.
For a while I paid the mortgage and she paid toward bills outstanding. After a while she started paying half toward the mortgage. However the mortgage always came out of my bank account.
The house has never been in positive equity. And during any of this time the sale of the house would not of made her any profit, in fact would of gave her half of a substantial extra debt. Ben
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
It is not about profit or anything else.
It is about the simple fact that you had the benefit of living in the property without her and she did not.
However as I said - you have been paying the mortgage in full - so by paying "her half" of the mortgage you were covering any potential liability for "occupational rent"
The Case law is complex but detailed here
but in the majority of cases the court take the easiest option of trading rent for mortgage payments