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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My time partner and myself are separating, she moved out

Customer Question

HelloMy long time partner and myself are separating, she moved out nearly 6mths ago now she wants to sort out our house. We bought this house nearly 6 years ago for £142K and we put £20K each in order to secure a mortgage. The house was small and in need of total renovation . I had some saving so I spent probably over £150K to extend and renovate the property.Now the house as been valued between £400K and £425K. Now if we sell the house she wants Half of the equity I told her that I like to keep the house as I have some antique furniture which will be hard to fit somewhere else which I could afford, also, I will l loose all my saving invested in the house and all hard work put into it. She agreed for me to keep the house but she wants me to pay her off £100K and £20K if I sell the house in the future. Do I have any options or just comply with her request.Many thanksPascall
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.

Hello Pascal

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you.

Please may I ask:

- when you bought the house do you know if you purchased the house as joint tenants or tenants in common?

- were there any trust deeds?

- what is the outstanding mortgage now?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello Caroline
The house was bought as joint tenants and I believe no trust deeds. The outstanding is £174k.Pascall
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 3 months ago.

Hello Pascall

Thank you for your response and for clarifying that for me.

Please do accept my apologies for not being able to respond to you sooner.

The legal starting point when you own the house as joint tenants is that you are each entitled to an equal share of the profits. From the figures you have given to me the current equity in the house is between £220k to £250k.

Your ex by seeking £120k is asking for around half of the current equity.

What you need to know is that you do have the possibility of asking the court to make a declaration as to your interest in the property. This is worth considering in your case because of the substantial extra monies that you paid in relation to the property over your ex. Even though the legal starting point is that you are each entitled to an equal share of the equity as joint tenants, a court can consider the extra financial contribution that you made and because this is substantial a court can decide to award you a larger share of the interest in the property. The area of law that deals with such cases is the Trust of Land Act.

What you need to consider first is mediation. Mediation is independant and will try and help you reach agreement in relation to the division without the need for court. Google family mediation in your area and give them a call to self refer.

If mediation does not help you reach agreement then you can apply to your local county court for a declaration as to you interest using this form:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n208-claim-form-cpr-part-8

The court fee is £308.

You should attach to your application as much evidence as you can obtain in relation to the significant extra contributions that you made.

If you wanted to be fully represented in these types of proceedings then you would be looking at circa £5-10k in legal fees. Given the amount of additional monies that you spent on the property then does seem worth the litigation risk.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

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