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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1385
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My ex-partner and I separated two years ago. We had

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Hi. My ex-partner and I separated two years ago. We had been together 30 years but never married.
She remained in our jointly owned house with out two sons. Since leaving I have continued to pay half of our joint mortgage, half of the buildings insurance plus child support.
She is now seeking to buy me out of my share of the property. The current equity is roughly £190k. I believe that my share should be 50% as we had always shared the mortgage and maintenance costs. Our agreement was we would share any structure costs not covered by insurers while she would be resposible to maintain the property.
However she is now seeking to have £20k "decorating and gardening" costs taken into account before the equity is shared. Valuers have confirmed that the wok done has addedd minimal value to the property.
She also wants to deduct a fee against the costs of a possible future sale of the property - some £7k.
I would be grateful for your views on the reasonableness of both deductions she proposes.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please can I ask are you Joint Tenants of the property?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes - we are joint tenants, with joint mortgage(s).
Thank you for confirming this for me.
The Legal presumption when the property is held as Joint Tenants is that you both own the property in equal shares and therefore you would be entitled to 50% of the equity should the house is sold.
Whilst your ex could make an application to the court under the Trust of Land Act for a declaration of her interest in the property on the grounds of redecorating the property - it still remains that the property is held as joint tenants and therefore the legal presumption still remains that property is held in equal shares between you.
If you have a valuation stating that the redecoration has minimal value (and this has only been over a short period of two years) then a court is unlikely to give your ex anywhere near the 20% increase she is asking. I also consider that a court would not agree that future sale costs should be included - when this is not even envisaged especially at such an excessive quote at £7k.
I do consider that the best step for you is to consider mediation - to try and resolve the issue without the need for court proceedings. Perhaps you could agree to a smaller percentage. If matters cant be agreed then I do consider that your ex will struggle at court based on the information that you have provided.
I wonder it this is all she can raise to buy you out and therefore is trying to make up the numbers?
Please also be aware that if any of your children are still minors then your ex could make a Schedule 1 children act claim for provision of property for your children. If such an order was made - then this would only be until your children reached majority age - then your interest would revert to you.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you CarolineThat i very helpful advice. I think you are correct - she cannot afford the full 50% payment and is therefore looking to have the total equity available to share adjusted. On her first approach she explained she had been advised that the work done - and I am content that work has been done at the address - had added £30k to the value. Valuers have now discounted that, and now these 'charges' have been put on the table.If she can only buy a portion of my share now I assume that I can retain the remaining share with my name on the deeds? I would then look to place an agreement that the remaining share be paid to me once my youngest son is 18 years old. All along I have said I would never request my share of the equity until he had ended Full Time Education but would be happy to discuss it if she made an offer - which is where we are now.If I cannot retain a proportion of ownership in my own right am I:- able to sell it to a thrid party i.e. my mother/my son's grandmother
- able to pass my remaining portion in Trust to my sons?ThanksAndy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Finally - your reference to Schedule 1 of the Children Act. I assume that is an Order which prevents me from provoking the sale of the property to release my share of the equity until my youngest son is 18(?), regardless of his eductional situation?
Hello Andy
Thank you for your response.
If your partner cant pay you in full - then you can remain on the land registry title but with a deed of trust in place specifying your interest. It is worth getting a solicitor to draw up such a document. This would cost circa £200.
I specialise in family law and deal with trust of land act claims on a regular basis for separating couples but I am unable to answer the questions in respect of putting your remaining proportion in trust and selling your unrealised share. These questions are likely best to be answered by a tax expert.
I hope this helps.
Kind Regards
In relation to your son - 18 is the age that transfer of property orders last too. Just be mindful that if your son in still in full time education including uni post 18 - then he could make a Schedule 1 children act claim in his own right for support - but this could only be by way of lump sum/ periodic payments and not transfer of property.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your responses - they have been very helpful, expecially in confirming that there is no automatic deduction from the equity of the kinds of expenses my ex is looking to include.Many thanks
Hello Andy
You are very welcome - please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist in the future.
Kind Regards
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