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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hello, my step-son has a situation ehich l need some advice

Customer Question

Hello, my step-son has a situation ehich l need some advice on. He an his girl friend purchased a flat on a part rent/ part buy scheme, l think thay have a mortgauge on 30% of the value of the flat.

They have paid £20k of the mortgage, they have had the mortgage for 5 years both of they are on the rental agreement which is with a housing association, and both their names are XXXXX XXXXX mortgage agrrement.

The step-aon has paid for all bills except for the gas and water, this was paid for by the girl friend these bills are in her name only.

Unfotunately, the relationship has come to an end.

Currently, the step-son is still living their and the rent and mortgage is still paid up to date, but the girl friend is not living there now. However, it has been descovered that both the gas and electric has not been paid by the girl friend for sometime, there is approximately £800 owed on the gas and £800 owed on the water (the water company has threatened legal action against the girl friend).

The questions l am asking are these.

1. Is the step-son responsible for the water and gas bill debt?
2. Can the step-son have new accounts for gas and water created, so he is separated from the debts of the girl friend?
3. Can he get her removed from the retal agreement and mortgage, namely, have a charge pit in place to protect the girl friends current share of the equity built up in the flat?
4. Then is a future sale the girl friend can be paid off.
5. The step-son could be in negative equity at prent if the flat is sold now due to a depressed housing market.
6. What normally happens in these situations, l guess it happens all the time, couples meet, but a flat/house, then the relationship ends and the result mess has to be resolved.

Maybe you can offer some advice on what to do, and what might happen.


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 they buy as tenants in common??
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, what further information do you require?





Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, l have just seen your question at the bottom of your text.


Yes they are both tennants on the rental agreement with the housing association, and they are both on the mortgage agreement for the 30% stake in the flat.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

1 The person whose name the bills are in is responsible for
paying them although within the relationship, each is obviously liable to

2 He cannot have separate accounts created unless there are 2
meters in the property which is practically impossible solution

3 he can only do that if she agrees and the mortgage company
agrees and he is able financially to take over the mortgage on his own and the
mortgage company are happy for that

4 that doesn't appear to be a question

5 that doesn't appear to be a question

6 if they cannot agree on a solution between them, and the
property is sold and the proceeds divided. If there is not any equity, then
each is responsible for the shortfall. If they do not have the money to pay the
shortfall, or are unwilling, they asked both struck with pain that the property

can I assist further?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

On the question aboy the two bills gas and water. What l am asking is if say the water company ends that current account with the meter in the flat, so that debt is fixed and the liability for it can be worked out and paid.


Then is it possibel for a new account to be created on the same meter as only the step-son will be living there and he will be fully liable for this as he is the only occupant.


Is that possible

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Yes that can be done if it is
going from her name to his or from joint names to his but there may be a cost

It is easy enough for him to
read the meter himself with his partner present and then simply apportion it
himself when the bill arrives, which is the only way of doing it if it is in
his name now and is remaining his name.







Does that answer the

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In your time as a solicitor have you ever had to deal with a relationship that ends when a property is involved, do you have any examples of what can happen?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Quite a few. What type of happenings are you asking about?

I am offline shortly until tomorrow morning but will pick this up then