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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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In July 2013, I signed a Land Registry Trust Information document

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In July 2013, I signed a Land Registry Trust Information document which had myself and my partner as joint owners. The statement reads "The Joint Owners declare that they hold the property in trust for themselves alone as tennants in common in the following unequal shares": (complete) I have 66% and my partner 34%.
Our house purchase price was £370k and I put down the whole deposit of £120k. I naively signed for the split as outlined above not really realising what I was doing, and clearly not envisaging the relationship ending. My thoughts were that by the time we sold, two thirds of £370k would be £245k (the initial £120k and the other £125k I would have contributed over the years) and my partners third would be £125k so would all be fair.
I know now that my partner is cheating on me and before confronting him I want to know what I will have to do to try and retain by full £120k investment. Losing £40k (which is a third of what I laid out) is clearly not feeling good. I'm fairly sure I won't have a leg to stand on but thought worth asking. Can you advise at all please? Kind regards, Alison
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. Would I be correct to assume that you used a solicitor in your purchase please?If so did the solicitor provide you with any advice in relation to the trust declaration you signed before you signed it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi. Yes, we used Chadwick Lawrence. I wouldn't say we were offered advice exactly as they weren't particularly dealing with this aspect - they dealt with the house purchase. So I guess we discussed it, but not in detail i.e. Work through sums etc. I assume they think we would have done this oursleves. Sadly, think I was just very stupid as kind of understood, but didn't fully understand the implications if that makes sense. Thanks.
Thank you. Finally have you contributed equally to the mortgage and/or any improvements made the property equally since purchasing the property?Is the mortgage a repayment or interest only mortgage?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi. Contributed equally. No significant improvements but had to have new stairs when moved in £2.5k I think, a new drain fitted etc. thanks
Thank you. There was a case two years ago which turned on very similar facts. The Court of Appeal held that that in the absence of grounds to vitiate (i.e. show the trust is invalid becuase for example it was not properly signed) or rectify (e.g. because it was clear it did not reflect the intention of the parties at the time) the trust declaration, the court could not go behind it, therefore the stated proportions must apply and the order of sale must be granted. THe situation in so far as this goes is therefore laregly I regret as you feared. However there may be some positives you can look towards as follows. 1) If you have not both signed the deed declaring the trust the trust may not be valid.2) If you have made contributions beyond that of your partner then you can seek to claim those capital contribitions over your partners share;3) The solicitor has a duty to ensure that you understand fully the implications of a declaration of trust and particularly where contributions are unequal that solicitor should point out any inconsistency with the trust being declared. If they have fallen short in the advice they gave you and you suffer loss as a result you may have a claim of negligence against the solicitors open to you. If you consider this to be the case it is important that you raise a claim within the earlier of three years of discovering the negligence or within three years of your reasonably being able to discover the same. If you do not do so you may be out of time to bring a claim. if you consider you have a potential claim under paragraph 3 above, the first step is to contact the solicitors in question by raising formal complaint. They are required to deal with your complaint using their complaints procedure and must give you a formal written response. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can refer your complaint to the legal ombudsman service free of charge using the following link: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.
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