This house is joint names with her, the news is not good. In fact the news is extremely bad.
If 2 people own a property are not married and there are no children and there is no agreement to the contrary as to what will happen when the property gets sold, then it is split 50-50. It doesn’t matter what each person puts in by way of deposit and what each person puts in over the period of ownership, it split 50-50. It does not matter that one of them pays all the mortgage and puts all the deposit in and the other one sits by and does nothing but drink tea, it is split 50-50.
The courts have decided that if a couple are buying a property together they would have an agreement if they were putting different amounts of money in and wanted money out in proportion. They would safeguard their “asset” by putting it in writing.
Relevant case law is Kernott v Jones.
I will say that I don’t agree with this decision but I don’t make the law, I just regurgitate it. The case does go on to say that if the couple were living in the property and one party moves out, then any contributions to the capital or fabric or improvements of the property, after that person moved out but which were made by the one remaining, will be taken into account with the final division of assets from a sale of the property.
What the case law goes on to say is that any contributions to capital (not interest) and any maintenance or payment towards the property other than the mortgage, after a couple split up will be taken into account in the division of the assets. The reason it all isn’t taken into account is that if you have the benefit of living in the property then you have the burden of paying the mortgage.
Not relative to the case law but if either party wants the property sold, then the reluctant non-sale wishing party can be taken to court for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act s14 and they would usually get the order against the reluctant seller and get caught and solicitors costs also awarded against the reluctant seller. If anyone ever threatens to apply to court for an order for sale, my advice to the other party is to get the estate agents sign up straightaway.
Meanwhile, a person is not responsible for the mortgage or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender if the other co-owner stays in the property but doesn’t pay.
It doesn’t matter that you are still married.
I’m sorry, I know it’s not the answer you wanted. As I have already said, I don’t agree with the decision but I do not make the law, I just regurgitate it.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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