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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13851
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I think my name appears on property I don’t live in.

Customer Question

I think my name appears on property I don’t live in.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: What should I do to remove my name from property?
Assistant: Where is the property located?
Customer: Birmingham
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I used to live in that property with my ex partner. He bought half of the property and the other half we rented together.
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 days ago.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

what do you mean by your name appears?

are you on the deeds/mortgage?

what is the problem here please

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I am not sure I don’t have any documents. After I received text message from Longhurst Group saying that I owe some money I phoned them. They told me that my name is ***** ***** the property that’s why they have contacted me. As I don’t live there anymore they advised that I should get solicitor and get my name removed.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 days ago.

The property is shared ownership it would seem because that accords with you saying that you bought half of the property and the other half you rented.

You can get the title deed and the plan quickly and easily by using this link:

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

and you will have to pay 3 pounds for the title deed and 3 pounds for the plan.

You will then have them in minutes if not seconds.

You may have a financial interest in the property or you may be happy to walk away from it. It is highly likely that you would be entitled to 50% of the property equity for reasons I will come back to shortly.

You are happy to walk away from it, then it’s necessary to transfer the property from 2 names into 1 name and if there is a mortgage on the property it’s going to need the consent of the mortgage lender.

The lender may or may not accept that your ex is good enough for the purposes of the mortgage but don’t be at all surprised if the lender refuses to remove you.

This is the process for transferring the property from 2 names to 1 name:

The process is not for the fainthearted although it’s not an uncommon question and therefore I have a standard cut-and-paste answer which is below: a solicitor would probably charge under GBP500 plus VAT plus the land registry fee:

To transfer property from 2 names to 1 name or from 1 name to 2 names or to simply sell a property is relatively straightforward but there are a lot of forms to fill in

The transfer deed for sale or simple transfer is form TR1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registered-titles-whole-transfer-tr1

and here are some notes on that form: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registered-titles-whole-transfer-tr1/guidance-completing-form-tr1-for-the-transfer-of-registered-property

and you also need AP1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/change-the-register-ap1

and ID1

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/verify-identity-citizen-id1

for all the parties involved.

There needs to be one of the latter forms for each person involved. It needs a passport sized photograph certified by a solicitor as being a true likeness. This is not needed if solicitors are doing the job but the solicitors will want different ID, usually a passport or driving licence and 1 or 2 utility bills.

There is also the Land Registry fee based upon the value of the house which is here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees

Use scale 1 fees.

If there is a mortgage on the property they will need to consent to the transfer and if it is going from 2 people to 1 person they will usually refuse to remove one and would want the mortgage repaid.

There may be stamp duty depending on the money changing hands or if no money changing hands, there would be stamp duty on the transfer if the mortgage being taken over or disposed of is over £250,000. Stamp duty is based upon 50% of the mortgage. If there is no mortgage and no money changing hands, there is no stamp duty.

If it is a second home then the limit goes down to 40k and a higher rate of SDLT is payable

A solicitor would normally charge about £300 plus VAT plus the land registry for dealing with this if you don’t feel like doing it yourself. Any high street solicitor that does conveyancing deal with this. The process is very straightforward for a conveyancing solicitor but a bit of a nightmare for an individual.

As one person is potentially being advantaged and/or one person is potentially being disadvantaged, it’s essential to take independent legal advice on the effect of this so that some stage in the future, neither party can complain that they were coerced into doing this.

Incidentally, the process is exactly the same as selling a property and buying a property although the parties are different and no money is changing hands.

In effect the current owner(s) sells the property and the new owner (s) buys the property albeit with no money changing hands. There is obviously no contract in that case but the transfer deed and the rest of the documentation is the same.

If your ex-partner will not play ball then you need to make an application to court to sell the property.

No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.

The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).

Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.

Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.

If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.

You are actually entitled to 50% of this property if you were not married and there was no agreement to the contrary as to what would happen when it was eventually sold:

If 2 people own a property are not married and there are no children and there is no agreement to the contrary as to what will happen when the property gets sold, then it is split 50-50. It doesn’t matter what each person puts in by way of deposit and what each person puts in over the period of ownership, it split 50-50. It does not matter that one of them pays all the mortgage and puts all the deposit in and the other one sits by and does nothing but drink tea, it is split 50-50.

The courts have decided that if a couple are buying a property together they would have an agreement if they were putting different amounts of money in and wanted money out in proportion. They would safeguard their “asset” by putting it in writing.

Relevant case law is Kernott v Jones.

I will say that I don’t agree with this decision but I don’t make the law, I just regurgitate it. The case does go on to say that if the couple were living in the property and one party moves out, then any contributions to the capital or fabric or improvements of the property, after that person moved out but which were made by the one remaining, will be taken into account with the final division of assets from a sale of the property.

What the case law goes on to say is that any contributions to capital (not interest) and any maintenance or payment towards the property other than the mortgage, after a couple split up will be taken into account in the division of the assets. The reason it all isn’t taken into account is that if you have the benefit of living in the property then you have the burden of paying the mortgage.

Not relative to the case law but if either party wants the property sold, then the reluctant non-sale wishing party can be taken to court for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act s14 and they would usually get the order against the reluctant seller and get caught and solicitors costs also awarded against the reluctant seller. If anyone ever threatens to apply to court for an order for sale, my advice to the other party is to get the estate agents sign up straightaway.

Meanwhile, a person is not responsible for the mortgage or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender if the other co-owner stays in the property but doesn’t pay.

From experience, it’s more likely that you going to have to threaten to sell the property after making a court application before your ex-partner actually wakes up and deals with it.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES