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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35214
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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I jointly own a house with my ex, mother of my two children,

Customer Question

Hello, I jointly own a house with my ex, mother of my two children, I have also got another property that I live in. I want to know what I am legal responsible for repairing on the house she resides in
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I have agreed to pay half for the windows and half to rewire the house but she is now saying I need to pay half to buy a new TV aerial? I would just like to know for future ref. South west england Also there is a large amount of equity in the house, she wouold walk away with nearly £100k if we sold but is keeping me tied in because she cant get a mortgage and likes the area and I am responsible for half the repair costs, can I look at forcing the sale?
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No that i'm aware of she just hounds me for it so I have agreed but I need to know my limitations as I don't see that as an urgent requirement as its just to be able to give the kids a TV in their room. they have a working TV downstair. its only £140 but where does it stop?
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just my rights with the house to be honest. What I am responsible for in regards ***** ***** and would I have grounds to force the sale of the house in the future? She can go to work but said she wont as it's safer and I wont be able to ask to sell because my kids are involved but I don't want to be financially tied into a property I no longer reside in, I haven't lived there for 6 years and if we sell she could walk away with enough to set herself up and my kids be housed. just looking for a bit of advice. Do I have to pay for this advice?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Were you ever married to your ex?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. No we were never married.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Also sorry but she is seeking that I pay 50/50 towards to repairs but said she would fight me and make sure I only walk away with 30% which I don’t see why I should pay the 50% repair costs even though I will. The equity should be in the region of £150k I’ve told her I’m happy to walk away with just £50k to allow her a chance to set up but she’s refused to even discuss and said I’m stuck in it with her until she decides otherwise. Frustrating
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How old are the children, and who is paying the mortgage?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Children are 4 and 8 the mortgage is mostly paid for by housing benefits and then topped up by her. I pay her £500 maintenance per month in an agreement outside CSA which is £120 more than they would suggest I pay. I have the kids regularly, also paying additional things they may require. I have a mortgage on a second property that I purchased prior to me and her getting together. Once we bought our house and had kids I rented this one as I saw it as securing a financial future for the kids when they are older. Essentially they would get the equity. I have since found a new partner and although nothing is going to happen in the immediate future there may come a time that I would like to purchase a new home with her, I’m likely to find that difficult with 2 mortgages already. I would like to continue with this one for the kids. I don’t want her to sell the house but I also don’t want to be on the mortgage anymore but because of her position she wouldn’t be able to obtain a mortgage for this particular house and can’t buy me out so the only way would be to sell, in my mind she would walk away with £100k which is a good deposit for another house and if she worked she could get a smaller mortgage for somewhere else. There are options but she’s not willing to discuss any of them. She wants me tied.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There are 3 bed houses on rightmove within a mile of her current house from £180k up.
Our mortgage is currently £150k the house should be worth around £300k based on other house prices on the road.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is it possible to provide some information?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Excuse me? I’ve paid some money and all I seem to have received are questions back! You’ve sent no advice?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

My apologies for the delay

You are certainly not required to pay half of a new television Ariel!

It will only be possible for you to force a sale of the property if doing so would leave sufficient funds for her to purchase an alternative property in the same school area big enough for her and the children - and £100,000 will not do that.

As things stand she can remain in the property until your youngest is 18 or she cohabits - but at the end of that time you will get your 50% share of the equity.

With that in mind it is reasonable for you to contribute to essential repairs to the property - but nothing else

I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details