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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Approximately 13 years ago I bought a hose in my sole name

Customer Question

Approximately 13 years ago I bought a hose in my sole name with the aid a mortgage that was paid off in 2007-8. two years later I then unwisely transferred the ownership from sole ownership to a joint tennancy with my Thai Wife who lives in Thailand & who has never lived in the property & has never in any way contributed to the property. Umknown to me my wife then attached an order to the property that prevents me selling the property without her agreement. Is there any way that I can regain sole possession of the property, bearing in mind that as I say she has never in any way contributed to the property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question
My name is Clare
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
How long have you been married and what other assets are there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As I wrote in my initial enquiry there is no outstanding mortgage, the house was bought by me in my sole name using a mortgage from Nationwide and this was cleared by me in 2007. All monies to fund the mortgage and the original deposit came from me and my wife was not party to the mortgage in any way and it was only my misguided desire to avoid my wife who is currently resident on Thailand having to pay capital gains tax on the property upon my death that persuaded me to transfer the property into a joint tenancy with my Wife. We married in England in 1998 whist she was still a student and attending a course in the UK but she left England in 1999 and has never returned save for 2 short holidays. My wife owns a house in Thailand with no mortgage, a second house with a mortgage from the Bangkok Bank and a piece of real estate in Chiangmai that I paid for with a cash sum of £33,000 that I sent from England the year before I transferred the house in England into our joint names. There are two cars both of which I paid for but nothing is in my name and I have no entitlement to anything in her name in Thailand as that is the law in Thailand despite the fact that we are married. Foreigners are not allowed to own real estate in Thailand other that an apartment and the properties are houses and land. The total sum of these assets in Thailand I would estimate as being approximately £170,000, but she may well have other assets that I have no knowledge of. The value of my house in England is approximately £215,000. My wife who is 45 years old is employed as the full-time manager of A Japanese Freight Forwarding Company and has a salary of approximately £1000 per month, a company car and an expense account. I am self employed and am the sole director of a British Limited company that hasn't made a profit for the past 5 years. I am 66 years of age and have no pension other than a part state pension that I have decided to defer until I am 70.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that
May I ask why you are unwilling to agree to a divorce at this stage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

May I point out that my initial question was to ask if it was possible for me to regain sole possession of my house in England bearing in mind that as I say we are registered as tenants in common and that she has posted a notice against the property notifying people of her interest in the property? I have never spoken about a divorce except in as much as she is now attempting to use my house as a bargaining chip in a much more difficult international legal tangle involving property law in Thailand. I have not said yes or no to the possibility of such a divorce if I am able to regain possession of my house in England but let us deal with one question at a time. If I cannot regain sole ownership I shall of course expect her to contribute 50% of all ancillary costs e.g. insurance, and any maintenance that proves necessary which at the moment she does not do and this in itself is going to produce even more problems.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
The simple answer is no there is no way that you can regain sole possession without the agreement of your ex or an Order from the Court
Her share of the costs of Insurance and essential maintenance can be deducted from her share of the equity if the property is sold in the future
Certainly within the financial side of divorce proceedings it is likely that you will be awarded the property - and that is the most likely way of her name being removed.
Please ask if you need further details