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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7673
Experience:  UK solicitor
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When a property is joint owned does the person paying the utilities

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When a property is joint owned does the person paying the utilities have rights to sell or block a sale
Thanks for your patience.
Is the person paying utilities also named as owner of the property?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My father is registered as the sole owner of one house and the joint owner of a second house ( my step mother owning the other 1/2 share)
For 20 years he has paid the utility's on both houses from his own personal account ( they until recently have maintained their own accounts)
Last week my step mother moved the payments of the utility's of the joint house over to her own personal account.
The utilities at the house registered in my fathers name are still being paid from now a joint account but she has changed them to being registered to herself.
My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I am concerned we will not be able to sell a property to pay for his care.
So, for the property where she has taken responsibility for the utilities, your father is the joint owner of the property with her. Is this correct?
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
The utility accounts being transferred in to her name will not limit the rights of your father in terms of being able to sell the property.
The basis position is - regardless of utilities - where a property is owned jointly with another then it cannot be sold unless both parties agree. If one wants to sell and the other doesn’t then the party that wishes to sell can apply to court for an order that the property is sold.
These orders for sale are rarely refused by the court, but it can sometimes take a bit of time because they have to resolve the issue of what is a fair selling price, so valuation would have to be done. If an order for sale is granted by the court then the property can be sold without the consent of the party who does not wish to sell provided that the court-sanctioned valuation is met.
The utilities are essentially irrelevant to the ability to force the sale of the property.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Thomas and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you