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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1389
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I have split up with my partner. We have a joint mortgage

Customer Question

I have split up with my partner. We have a joint mortgage together.
She moved away about a month ago, and stopped paying her half of the mortgage and bills. I carried on paying as I was living there.
Now she wants to come back to the property and live in it with me. Due to the circumstances of her mental health, I do not wish to live in the same house as her, for my own safety.
We are meeting on Sunday so I can give her a key to the property. From that point onwards, I will have moved into another house.
From what I can gather, she does not want to sell the property, but I think she wants to try and buy me out.
I'd like my name off the mortgage all together.
I have a few questions:
From the moment I move out, if I do not pay 1/2 of the bills, will it affect my share of the equity if/when the property sells?
If she refuses to sell the property, what can I do? Can I have a force sale on the house? Or can I have her made to buy me out properly?
Once I have left the property, where do I stand on returning? Is she allowed to change the locks? Or while my name is ***** ***** mortgage, do I still have 24/7 access to it?
Many Thanks,
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am family solicitor and am able to help.
I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are experiencing with your partner.
I note that you have agreed to vacate your property and let your partner return to your property.
As you are joint owners of the property then you have a legal right to enjoy and reside in the property.
If your partner was to change the locks, then you could replace the locks and provide her with a key. Your partner could call the police if there was going to be a breach of the peace. They could move you on but couldn't stop you returning. Your partner could seek an occupation order to prevent you from enjoying your legal right to the property. Judges dont like making such orders if you are going to be made homeless. If you were living elsewhere they they might make such an order for a limited time but this would effect your ownership and this would still need to be resolved.
I note that you consider that your partner is thinking of buying you out of your property and that you want your name of the property. There is nothing to stop you accepting a settlement in relation to the property. It is not as easy to remove your name of the mortgage. The mortgage company would need to be satisfied that your partner can meet the payments on her own. This may take take. Even if a settlement was reached via a court order -this would still not bind a mortgage company.
If you stop paying the general bills then there is no issue. In relation to the mortgage payments - it would depend on the length of time til settlement. If you are Joint Tenants - not paying your half of the mortgage for short period of time then unlikely to have an affect as you are presumed to hold the property with 50/50 shares and your partner is also having the benefit of the property. If this was a significant period then your partner could try and argue for an unequal share.
You should consider writing to your partner to sever the joint tenancy. If you were to pass away - your share would automatically go to her otherwise.
If your ex does not pay - then you can make an application to your local civil court for a settlement / sale of the property so that your share can be realised. You would make the application on a on a Part 8 Claim form. Such a claim would be made under the Trust of Land Act Legislation.
Perhaps it might be easier to ascertain your partners position before you move out. If she really wants the property this should motivate her to pay up. I do however note that you are concerned about living with the respondent with her mental health difficulties and that is understandable.
Kind Regards
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