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Hi, I'm Lea
You state that the house is owned 50/50 and you continue to pay your share of the mortgage, despite not living there for two years, and the advice you were given by a solicitor was that you couldn't do anything - is that correct?
I have no idea who those council 'legal advisers' were, but they knew nothing about the law and should not be giving advice. If you had received that advice from a solicitor who you had paid, I would have advised you to make a formal complaint as you would have had a definite claim for negligent advice.
You do in fact have rights. The property is owned 50/50 and therefore if you want to sell and the other party does not, you have a right to apply to the court for an order of sale. This is done under TOLATA (google the statute for the full title). It can be a difficult claim to make, and you should try to settle the matter by mediation (obviously you asking him directly hasn't worked, but a mediator may be able to get things moving). If not, then you can make a claim to court.
I would strongly suggest that if this does progress to court that you instruct a solicitor as TOLATA claims aren't the easiest to navigate as there are two routes to go down and subtle differences between the two of them. In addition, I think you should also be making a claim for a larger proportion than 50% given that you have continued to pay 50% of the expenses of the property, including the mortgage, yet had no benefit of the property for two years. Your ex should compensate you for that by virtue of you getting a larger share of the equity...as I said, a bit complicated, so I do advise the use of a solicitor.
A family law solicitor will be able to assist you.
Some family solicitors do not do TOLATA cases, but many do. If not, you can try a property solicitor.
THe first thing you need to do is contact a mediator - explain the situation and the mediator will try to set up a meeting with your ex. If he refuses or the mediation doesn't work, then you can proceed to apply to court.
Alternatively you could send him a pre-action letter and state that unless he agrees a sale date you will go to court and claim your costs from him. If you win, the court will award you costs - and there's no reason why you wouldn't win.
You can find a solicitor here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/
You can find a mediator here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/
The pre action letter can be written by you.
It can be an email, so long as you can prove you sent it.
Don't worry about thanking me, I am just glad that I can give someone positive news for a change!
He has to agree to mediation, hence me saying if he refused or it wasn't successful you could proceed to court. You can ask him to share the costs, but you'll need to pay for the first session as you're the one making the appointment. If the mediator can't contact him or he refuses to engage, you proceed to court.
You're very welcome.
I am sure it will turn out well.
All the best.