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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35574
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 have joint mortgage with my expartner who moved out of the

Customer Question

I have joint mortgage with my expartner who moved out of the house 2 years ago. I live in the house with our 11yr old son and he pays maintenance for him. Our mortgage rate is about to change from £650 per month to £1050 per month. The mortgage lender is offering to switch the product to different rate and pay £350. He is refusing to switch the product and his decision about our joint mortgage is going to cost me money.
He is offering to pay half of the increase.
What is my legal right?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

My name is Clare

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

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

Why does your ex not wish to agree to the change in the product?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
House value £850k mortgage £250k
Ex belives he owns 50% ( wrong!) of the house , insisting on house sale.
I understand we need to resolve the issue legal way but as I pay mortgage at the moment do I have any rights to switch the deal to offered lower rate without his agreement until then?
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

How was the purchase of the property originally funded and how much will a two bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I invested £420k from sale of my previous property. He invested £0.
2 bed property in school catchment area £600k
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

Were you married?

Did you protect your investment with a Declaration of Trust?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No. At the time I didn't know I could, so it's joined ownership.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We were not married.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

Just for clarity - you have not married each other since then?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We were never married
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

My apologies - I missed your reply

There are two legal issues you need to be aware of.

The first is that without a Declaration of Trust (which your conveyancer should have advised you about) then technically your ex is entitled to half of the equity.

However should the matter go to court the substantial difference in contributions is likely to mean that the court will say that your deposit needs to be returned before the balance is divided between you - if not then you may have a claim against the conveyancers!

In addition under Schedule 1 of the Children Act your ex is under a duty to help you house the child until the child is 18 - and if the house was sold you would need all the equity to rehouse yourself so he would still have to wait for his share

Unfortunately, there is no law that says he has to co-operate with switching the mortgage from a repayment to an interest only one - and I suspect that the lender will not agree without his consent.

Your only option is to inform him that if he wishes to avoid mortgage arrears threatening his credit rating then he either agrees to the switch - or pays the whole of the difference

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