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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7660
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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my cohab partner (f) left me 10 months ago after living together

Customer Question

my cohab partner (f) left me 10 months ago after living together for 13 years.. No children. I pay everything since she left and 70% before . She registered the property as joint tenants. We agree the property should be sold. Last mortgage paid this week!
I have Parkinson's disease, scoliosis and am awaiting surgery for a severe hernia.
3 simple questions:
a) can she force a sale or can I request a time out until fit to move?
b) if I get a live in carer can I exclude her from the property?
c) can she insist on a 50% share or is there a mechanism to apportion the share out based on contribution.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
Had she already stated she will seek 50%?
Kind regards
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Are you able to respond to the above post in order that I may provide you with an answer please?
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes - she raised the original joint tenancy at 50:50 so that we could complete our wills... refused the offer of marriage as intended and then left! She says she wants half.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. Drafting your answer now. 5 mins please.
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
First of all, if you and you partner presently hold the house jointly (as joint tenants) then each person's share would pass to the other upon death regardless of any directon made in any Will. If this is not what you want then you should sever the joint tenancy by using Form SEV from the Land Registry (you will have to send it to them and if you have any questions about completing the form you should call their customer service number - they are very helpful):-
You will then hold you interests as tenants in common, meaning that your respective shares will pass according to their wills or under the intestacy rules. Your partner need not sign the form provided you follow the instructions.
In the absence of any express agreement there is presumption that the proceeds of sale are split equally. Unless there is a declaration of trust (for which you must hold your property as tenants in common) then there is a presumption that each party retains a 50% interest in the equity in the property.
So, there will be a presumption that she is entitled to 50% of the equity in the property. If you wish to attempt to claim more than this then you would be looking at dispute initially with her (probably via solicitors) and if no resoluation is found, then litigating for a greater share of the equity.
It’s a really complicated area of law which is developing, but if you have paid more of the mortgage for a considerable time and/or contributed more when purchasing the property initially and the other party then it can form the basis of a claim for more of the equity. This is on the basis of equitable accounting under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees act. I would really consider finding the money to pay for the consultation with a local solicitor, who can take your detailed instructions and then provide you with an estimate of the likelihood of a successful claim and likely costs involved.
In answer to your other questions:-
a) Yes, she can but only by applying to court for an order for sale. Although a court is ultimately likely to grant the order for sale it does take a long time and you can drag your heels a bit. If you wish to delay, then attempt to avoid her issuing a claim for a while
b) No. If she is a registered proprietor then she has an equal right of access which you cannot deny her even if you need a carer. I am sorry.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Is there any further information you require?
I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on the information I have provided.
Kind regards,