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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11265
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I would love to see clearly about my situation. We have been

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Good morning! I would love to see clearly about my situation. We have been together with my British partner for 12 years and we have got a 9yr old daughter. I am Hungarian but for the last 5yrs we lived in the UK as we moved here when we bought an old building and started to build our house. Things are going a bit downhill now between us and had a few big rows. Then my partner declared that eventually he owns the house, it is all his and I haven't got any right to be there unless he lets me do so. If we aren't married and haven't signed any legal documents about our relationship, could that result in me actually loosing everything I have worked for in the last 5 (or 9) years? What rights and entitlements have I got? Kind regards, Felicia
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: We are up in East Riding of Yorkshire
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no nothing
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: As a start this would be good, thanks

Hello for clarification - have you paid anything towards the upkeep of this property? bills/decorating?

how did he pay for the property?

whos name is ***** ***** in? mortgage?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My savings have been used up through our first 4-5 years etc so I it has been his money and some loans to him, no mortgage etc. My name only appears on the rental contract as we have been renting in the last five years. The house will be ready only end of summer this year. It has been mainly him and me building it. He is in a senior engineer and I am employed by his company that he set up for this project. As this is a small village, there isn't many opportunities to work etc, so we have decided that I will 'stay at home' and instead of paying ridiculous amounts of childcare etc, I will manage home, our daughter and help with the admin and on the building site as much as I can. I have worked as a Facility and Operations Manager in Hungary, so property development and the work involved isn't alien to me. I have been driving diggers and dumpers and worked my hat off by grinding concrete walls with 6kg machinery etc. It is all documented more or less with photos but no sign of any my contribution otherwise. It has all been paid by him though and he has worked really hard on it, so I do not wish to be greedy and say that it all should belong to me as well, just would love to know what could be considered as my 'share' especially that our whole 5-6years have been hanging on this project to get finished, have lived really with a tight budget etc.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have never used this services before so I don't know how long we have got but I will need to pop out for 20mins or so but don't want to loose this thread. In case you have more questions, I will be in front of the screen in 20mins. Many thanks!)

Thank you. This is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore there may be a delay getting back to you. You don’t lose the thread which stays open for some time, weeks in fact.

After living together 12 years and having put a substantial amount of work effort and presumably money into the property, you are entitled to a financial share of the property and whilst that’s the case, actually determining the value of that is not going to be easy.

If this property was purchased as a home for you and your 9-year-old daughter to live in with your partner as a family, and depending on the value of the property, you may be able to remain in the property until your child reaches 18 years of age and only then would it be sold. Both of you out under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! (Although there is an incentive scheme where the more five-star ratings I get, I do actually get a pat on the head! :-)) All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you.

If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. So I understand that I am entitled to some financial share of the property. In the process of proving how much time/effort/work I put in, how does the law in the UK look at women staying/working/being at 'home'? If I chose that path as a professional in the property business I could have earned a few thousands per month and would not be literally 'pennyless' after living with him for all these years, thinking that it is all 'ours'. He worked and earned the money, that we have lived off from, but I have taken care of our daughter, done the shopping, cleaned the house, cooked a meal every day and worked on the site... is there any way knowing how this would be converted into any sort of value? I have also tried building up a family photography business as some earning potential (and not going completely crazy as a stay at home mum) but he hasn't been helpful with that, we have got only one car and whenever I would have needed to see a client or go for a photo shoot, he needed the car for 'more important' meetings etc. so building a new business, relying on taxis wasn't really viable. Sorry for the rambling, I just would like to hear something practical thoughts back from you how this has been done in similar cases?

You cannot claim any “salary” or offset for any work that you did on the property that you could have spent doing your job and earning a better hourly rate. With regard to the time which you put in the property that is lost.

If he promised you that part of the property would be yours and you relied on that promise to your detriment by doing the work on it for example, then you have a claim to make against it under the legal doctrine of Promissory Estoppel whereby you can enforce the promise if you realise to your detriment which clearly you did. Sometimes however proving that it was promised is not easy although the more time and money you spent on it the more likely be that you were promised it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
basically I am entitled to some share but it will be really hard to prove whatever I am owned from it at all?? If this was part of a divorce, I would go to mediation etc... Is this true for a separation like this as well? Do I need a solicitor/mediator/barrister if he still insists that is all his and would like to enforce some legal sense into his mind?

You can always agree to mediation before you rush off to court but it depends if either party is prepared to change their stance.

No one can be forced to have a lawyer if you want to do it yourself.But he may be more intimidated by a solicitors letter so it’s worth considering.

Before you go (you can come back at any time), please don’t forget to use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! The thread remains open. We can still exchange emails.

Kind regards.


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