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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35068
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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Myself and my partner jointly purchased a property in 2013

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Myself and my partner jointly purchased a property in 2013 for £210,000. A deposit of £100,000 was paid of which 95% by myself and 5% by my partner. The mortgage was based on tenants in common. We signed a declaration of trust stating that 35% of the house would be allocated to my partner, the remaining 65% to me.
Monthly mortgage payment was £467 equally divided by the 2 of us. Our partnership split after 18 months of house purchase with my partner having paid £4203 in mortgage contributions. I have been paying the mortgage by myself since March 2015. My partner is now asking for his full 35% of the house. The house is now valued at £265,000, of which £112,609 has been paid off, with £97,391 mortgage outstanding.At the time of signing the Declaration of Trust, the solicitor did not discuss the draw back of a straight percentage division of the equity. Did the solicitor act negligently? Is there anything I can do to contest paying my ex partner 35% of the equity?
Thank you for your question
My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you.
There are various different ways of protecting a large deposit in these circumstance
As you have realised the straight percentage split in this way is a serious problem if you split up within a relatively short period of time since it allows the other party to benefit from a substantial share of the deposit
Far better to opt for a position where each of you receive back the amount originally invested and the balance is then split between you in whatever way you agree
It has to be said that even that is not perfect - but it is in general terms a better option.
The fact that you have been paying a mortgage alone is NOT a relevant issue since you alone have been living there -although if you have paid a substantial amount off the capital in that time then that would be relevant
As things stand you may have room for negotiation on the basis that you can argue that it is clear that you never meant to gift your ex such a substantial sum in the event that you separated - but the fact that you signed a Declaration of Trust will be a problem here as it is a specific document signed by you as opposed tos imply an implied agreement.
As a starting point you should try and negotiate with your ex using Family Mediation
If that fails then you may well need to consider a negligence claim
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,Thanks for your response. Regarding the payments I have made off the capital since my ex moved out, I have paid off £4203. We paid off £8406 while living together. Is this not significant?
Regarding a negligence claim, would this be on the grounds that the solicitor did not discuss the draw back of a straight percentage division of the equity? How successful are such claims?
For clarity - you mean that you have paid off £4203 of the capital - on top of interest payments - since March?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
Sorry I don't understand what you mean by "on top of interest payments". The mortgage is a repayment mortgage.
I personally have paid £8406 of it, while my ex partner has paid £4203 of it.
Not all the payments that you make come off the capital - it is also interest.
Indeed in the first few years almost all of the monthly payments are made up of interest - at present you will only have paid off a small amount of the capital
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh i see, thank you for the information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just to clarify, what exactly is the amount that my ex partner is entitled to under the terms of the Declaration of Trust then?
How much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Around £98,000.
In that case technically your ex is entitled to £57,000 - way in excess of his investment which shoudl give you an excellent argument.
Instead suggest that you each receive your initial investment back and then the equity is shared between you - which would give him £38,000 (still not a bad return)
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