How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Law Question Here...
James Mather is online now

My boyfriend and I bought a property together in 2006, joint

Customer Question

My boyfriend and I bought a property together in 2006, joint mortgage and deeds in both names. In 2008 he got into financial difficulty and decided to sign the house over to me. The deeds are now in my name and I have a new mortgage solely in my name. This was all done with a solicitor. He paid the bills and bought the shopping and did DIY. We are now going to split up. I want him to leave my house but he says that he can claim money. Is he correct.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

Did he pay utility bills?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Why did he sign it over to you?
To avoid creditors getting it?
Did you pay him anything?
Do you have children?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. He was self employed and owed the taxman a huge amount plus he wasn't able to pay his half of the mortgage.He was worried that the tax man would take his half of the property. I earn much more than him and able to take on the mortgage.He didn't want the stress/responsibility of a mortgage so he was happy to sign it over to me. We have no children .I didn't pay him anything, he doesn't contribute to my motrgage , he buys the shopping and pays the electric ,gas, water.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
would be grateful for an answer tonight
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

I'm sorry, but this is not an instant service because we are all solicitors
in practice. We all have clients and court and other users on this site and
travelling and weekends and evenings etc. So sometimes you may get a response
in minutes but sometimes it may be hours. We also need time to type out answers!

The transfer was a waste of time because the Revenue could still come after his half of the house for 5 years as it was done to potentially avoid paying tax or having the house sold to pay tax although they couldn’t force sale in all probability you could end up owning a house with the Revenue!

It is the avoidance of Revenue liability which really clouds this. Actually it makes it into thick fog

Assuming the Revenue is out of the equation and he managed to pay all his tax liabilities: a court could look at this in al least 2 completely different ways with no guarantee either way.

1The situation is that the transfer was for potentially fraudulent purposes (to avoid a creditor) and as such it would be treated as if it didn’t happen which means that he would get 50% regardless of what he or you put in (the normal view in cases like this). Or…

2It could refuse to let him have anything for the same reason on the basis that he gave it away for fraudulent reasons (even though no fraud was committed) and therefore he gets £0.

The outcome would depend on how it was argued in court and the view the judge took.

This is a very complex legal issue (although it might not seem like that) and needs to be argued by specialist learned Counsel if it gets to court. It is most certainly not a DiY job.

The first thing I would do is get Counsels opinion (cost £600-£800 plus vat) before wasting money on lots of solicitors correspondence.

Does that answer?

Can I help further?

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not what you want to hear).
If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. I
t doesn’t give me, “a pat on the head”, “good boy” (like ebay), it is my livelihood!
If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little, please ask.

I am offline shortly until later tomorrow and will pick this up then if needed

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He has since paid all his debt to the tax man so that is no longer an issue. He seems to think that he can claim money from the house when we separate.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
He will certainly have some claim even if it isnt 50%.
He will maintain that you held his share of the property on trust for him since the transfer and that in addition, he contributed to the property. he is unlikley to walk away with £0
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
PS. Please see above, plus: the property is in yr sole name and you can actually give him notice to leave and lock him out provided you give him reasonable (say 1 month) notice.
It will not affect any financial claim he has