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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I own a house with my ex partner 50/50 with no mortgage. I

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I own a house with my ex partner 50/50 with no mortgage.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I own a house 50/50 with my ex partner. We don't have a mortgage. I have since married and my wife wants to buy out my ex's half of the house (which we live in). We intend to offer my ex £350k for her half. The house would be valued comfortably at £700k. My wife is 49 with a salary of £50k base with £20 commission. I am 72 and retired. Would it be possible for my wife to get a £350k mortgage against the property ? Thank you.
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer: Welwyn, Hertfordshire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

has you wife been to a broker about this?

also if not is there a reason why you cant sell?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife has spoken to her Bank,Lloyds, who seem to have a problem. I would have to be on the mortgage which would make it a 7 year mortgage (being 72). I already own half of the property, mortgage free. We don't wish to sell the property. We want to buy my ex out.

I’m just going to deal with the house which you currently own with your ex-partner.

If 2 people own a property are not married and there are no children and there is no agreement to the contrary as to what will happen when the property gets sold, then it is split 50-50. It doesn’t matter what each person puts in by way of deposit and what each person puts in over the period of ownership, it split 50-50. It does not matter that one of them pays all the mortgage and puts all the deposit in and the other one sits by and does nothing but drink tea, it is split 50-50.

The courts have decided that if a couple are buying a property together they would have an agreement if they were putting different amounts of money in and wanted money out in proportion. They would safeguard their “asset” by putting it in writing.

Relevant case law is Kernott v Jones.

I will say that I don’t agree with this decision but I don’t make the law, I just regurgitate it. The case does go on to say that if the couple were living in the property and one party moves out, then any contributions to the capital or fabric or improvements of the property, after that person moved out but which were made by the one remaining, will be taken into account with the final division of assets from a sale of the property.

What the case law goes on to say is that any contributions to capital (not interest) and any maintenance or payment towards the property other than the mortgage, after a couple split up will be taken into account in the division of the assets. The reason it all isn’t taken into account is that if you have the benefit of living in the property then you have the burden of paying the mortgage.

Not relative to the case law but if either party wants the property sold, then the reluctant non-sale wishing party can be taken to court for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act s14 and they would usually get the order against the reluctant seller and get caught and solicitors costs also awarded against the reluctant seller. If anyone ever threatens to apply to court for an order for sale, my advice to the other party is to get the estate agents sign up straightaway.

Meanwhile, a person is not responsible for the mortgage or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender if the other co-owner stays in the property but doesn’t pay.

So that deals with the existing house.

Whether your wife will be able to get income based upon that salary really comes down to the individual lenders. If you want the best chance of getting the highest loan to income borrowing, then you might want to use a mortgage broker who can look at the whole of the market.

The maximum income multiplier is 4.5/5 times income.

Here is an article on the subject,the%20maximum%20most%20will%20lend.

It is based upon figures just over 12 months ago and they will certainly not have increased but with the current virus uncertainty, lenders may be reluctant to go the whole hog to the maximum multiplier.

Commissions may or may not be taken into account depending on the history of the level of payment of that. Even then you would be looking five times the salary which is going to be very difficult bearing in mind that you also have to repay it.

Here is a little reading on super-size mortgages for you:,the%20maximum%20most%20will%20lend.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

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

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I think what we need is mortgage advice. My ex. is happy to sell her half and I'm sure we can agree a figure. We assumed that my wife could take out a mortgage in her name alone. To repeat, I already own half the house, mortgage free. The problem is that Lloyds are suggesting that it would have to be a joint mortgage which would mean a very short time span (7 years because I am 72) which would make repayments too high. Obviously the house would be held in joint names with my wife,age 49. I thought it would be relatively easy because we want to borrow £350k against the property worth £700k. I was wondering if this was going to be the problem with all lenders ? The articles you refer me too are both the same.

I am glad to help. It is not the equity in the property and hence the loan to value ratio which is the problem it is the income to loan amount which is the problem prior to 2007 your wife could simply have done is so certification mortgage, where she simply self certified that she could afford to make the payments. However I’m almost certain that they are now a thing of the past.

I apologise for the oversight in respect of the 2 links being the same rather than simply send you another link, if you Google Super-size Mortgages it will give you loads of articles.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is not necessarily the income to loan which is the problem. My wife is on £70k. As I've pointed out, the problem is that Lloyds insist that it would be a joint mortgage although my wife would repay it. My age then comes into play which reduces the mortgage repayment time to 7 years which is not practical. To repeat, I own half the house (age 72), my wife (age 49) wishes to buy my ex partner out of her half share of the house. We need to find a mortgage which does not take my age into account. We need to speak to a mortgage advisor. Many thanks.

You do indeed need to speak to a mortgage adviser because speaking to a high street lender you will just hit a brickwall which is what you have found with Lloyds.

I don’t know any lenders however who will lend beyond aged 80.

Having said that, there is no reason the why the house should not remain in joint names and there just be a mortgage and your wife’s name because when you eventually shuffle off the mortal coil, she could always sell up.

There is also no reason why the house could not be transferred completely into your wife’s name and then you have a matrimonial home right notice registered against the property which preserve your financial interest. It also gives you the right to live in the property.

So there are lots of ways of dealing with this and then it comes back to what we were talking about before which is the income multiplier being the only stumbling block along with the ability to repay.

I am glad to help. Please don’t forget to use the rating service because it means that I can continue to provide affordable and timely legal advice to people with similar problems.

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Kind regards

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