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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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My ex wants to move her new boyfriend into our house, i pay

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My ex wants to move her new boyfriend into our house, i pay half the mortgage. She has only known him for 3 months and I asked for a tenancy agreement to cover my half of the mortgage and I hoped it would protect my rights should their relationship break down. She is refusing to ask him to sign it and is saying she can move him in whatever I say and he doesn't have to pay me any rent. what are your views please. I can't afford to pay for another person to live in my house and pay my rent. we have a 2 year old child living with her and he has a son who will also be staying there. Help please
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK - Cambridgeshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: spoken to her - I've had one solicitors letter sent about selling the property she has verbally agreed to this but her new partner is formally moving in next week and I would like protection in case he should refuse to move out in event that they split
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no that's it thanks
Hi! I am Anu, a qualified solicitor in England and Wales. I will be assisting you with your query today. I may need to ask a few questions before I can address your query.Please bear in mind this is a chat service and there maybe delays in responding due to assisting other customers.
Please confirm is property jointly owned with your wife? If so, is it held as joint tenants or tenants in common?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are not married and I don’t know. We got a joint mortgage together but I did put in £12000 more as a deposit
The best way forward would be to ask her to buy you out of the property or push for the sale of the property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I’ve tried that they do not have enough income to take on the mortgage and she just says I’m in control and I’ll do what I want I have to keep paying the mortgage and another man is living in my house rent free isn’t there anything I can do to protect my rights of ownership
It is a difficult situation because you do have a child with her. And should you commence a court proceedings such as an order order for sale of the property she will allege that she needs the property so there is a roof over the head of the child. And the courts have wide powers to support the mother in such matters.
Are you paying any child maintenance?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's fine, I'm happy to carry on supporting my child, I pay maintenance and was ok paying the mortgage until she moved someone else in. There is a lot of equity in the property so she would have a large lump sum of money to use to rent or buy. It's a long time to pay a mortgage on a house when she has another partner if I have to wait until our daughter is 18, as she is only 2. Can I not insist on a tenancy agreement for her new partner and rent for my half of the house from him? Also what about our mortgage company would they be ok with this
You can insist the tenancy arrangement but before you proceed with that you will have to inform the lender as this is likely to be a breach of your mortgage terms. Your may need to Re-mortgage the property.Considering there is alot of equity in the property, then the feasible option would be to make an application to the court for an order for sale so each of your can take your share and go separate ways.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if he lives there without a tenancy agreement the mortgage company would be ok? but if I insist we will have to re mortgage which is unlikely to happen as my ex no longer earns enough, she went part time when we split. What a catch 22. Is a tenancy agreement my only option? Will he end up having any rights to stay in the house if we don't have a tenancy agreement? I am worried about my options I feel helpless and I am struggling financially as I'm now paying rent, Maintenance and the mortgage, I am self employed and working 6 days a week then having my daughter on my only day off - If I get ill I don't know what will happen
I understand. The mortgage company will not be okay with him staying in the property. You, due to your ex will be in breach of the mortgage conditions which will entitle the lender to repossess the property.
You options are as stated above, either remortgage or apply for an order for sale.
Unfortunately there is nothing further I can advice.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help that has made it very clear, he cannot stay there without breaching our mortgage conditions
It has been my pleasure. Best wishes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just spoken to mortgage lender and the information that you gave me is completely wrong

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question -

what did the mortgage company tell you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They said it’s fine for someone else to live there as long as there isn’t a tenancy agreement they don’t need to know and if there was an agreement they would just need to look at the circumstances and decide if it was ok. She said they will never reposes if payments are up to date

What the lender has told you is correct provided it is simply a guest and not a tenant and she was not subletting. Even if it was a lodger paying rent, the lender will not usually be interested provided the mortgage is kept in good order.

The legal situation is very straightforward.

Practically, it is a nightmare.

Legally, you are a part owner of the house and there is no court order preventing you going to the house you are free to come and go as you wish and move in with your new partner if you are so minded. You can have whatever guests you like in the house.

By the same token so can your co-owner.

However when your co-owner goes out to the shop, you are entitled to ask the guests to leave and lock them out if necessary.

The same applies if you go out to the shop with your guest in the property.

However when I was you return you are entitled to ask your guests back into the property.

As I said, legally straightforward but practically a nightmare.

However you need to stop paying half of the mortgage. A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent.

In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.

Tell her that you are no longer going to pay half the mortgage because you don’t have any benefit from it and that she is going to have to pay it all.

If there were no children involved No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.

The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).

Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.

Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.

If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.

Unless a sale of the house produces enough money for the parent looking after the child(ren), the resident parent, until the youngest reaches 18 and produces a surplus for the non-resident parent, the sale of the house is not on the cards until the youngest child reaches 18.

Both parents are under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18. Only then would the house be sold.

So unless there is a big amount of equity in the house, the chances that you are not going to get your hands on the money from the property for another 16 years although she may do a deal with you to buy you out for a much lesser sum in the short-term rather than you wait 16 years. It would be totally different if you did not have a dependent child.

If she has verbally agreed to it, all well and good but if it goes to court, and she decides that she doesn’t want to move out, for whatever reason, it’s unlikely you would be able to force the sale.

I am sorry, I know this is not the answer you wanted.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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

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Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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