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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I have a joint mortgage, My ex-partner left the house 4 years

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I have a joint mortgage, My ex-partner left the house 4 years ago, I continue to pay the mortgage and live there alone. There is not much equity in the house (still 10 years left on the mortgage). She wants to sever financial ties and is asking for a settlement. If the house was sold it would barely cover the remaider of the mortgage. Can she force me to sell the house?
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.
If she is not prepared to apply to court to force an order for sale, nothing will happen.
However, if she is prepared to then she can force the sale of the property by making an application to Court. There would be hearings of course, but the overwhelming likelihood is that a court would grant an order for sale because they do not like people being exposed to mortgage liability when they do not wish to be
If she makes an application then you can attempt to resisit and drag the matter out on the issues (ie. valuation) in the hope that the property can recover some equity or afford you sufficient time to attempt to remortgage in your sole name
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,
Thomas and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your reply, 1 other thing, If she does get an oder to sell the house, as she hasnt lived in the property for 4 years can I sue her for 1/2 the payments that I have made in that period? doesnt seem fair that I pay the mortgage and she benefits

If you have paid the whole mortgage repayments and it was agreed that you would each pay half then you should dispute this with her when attempting to agree a settlement figure, so that you receive more of what equity there is than she does..