A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent.
In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.
You are living in the property, then you are liable for the whole mortgage. You have the benefit of living in it and hence you have the burden of the payment. Same applies in respect of insurance.
No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.
The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).
Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.
Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.
The wording of the application is along the following lines:
Therefor the claimant makes a claim pursuant to s.14 Trusts and Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1966 (TLATA) pursuant to Part 8, for the following
i A declaration that the Claimant and Defendant are 50:50 beneficial owners of the property (or whatever percentage you are looking at):
ii That the property be sold:
iii That there be an adjustment of the financial shares to account for the additional money spent by the Claimant in excess of the agreed £20,000 project fund, the council tax, electricity and occupation rent for the period of time the Defendant has enjoyed sole use of the Property.
If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.
That’s what you could be on the receiving end.
My advice to you therefore is to make sure that she knows exactly where you are at your own mortgage application to pay her off.
The property is on the open market, then it’s easy enough for you to simply offer more than whatever anybody offers on the open market. Just make sure that there is an agreement that if you buy her out, the agent doesn’t get paid anything other than and costs they have incurred in valuing and marketing the property.
You need to make sure that it’s blatantly obvious that you are willing to cooperate here, the only sticking point is the valuation.
Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.
I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have