How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jeremy Aldermartin Your Own Question
Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 12208
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Jeremy Aldermartin is online now

I own a rental property with a friend (40/60%). It is now

This answer was rated:

Hello, I own a rental property with a friend (40/60%). It is now adversarial between us. The long term tenant is moving out next week, the friend wants to sell, and has sent a solicitor's letter saying he will take court action to force a sale. I am happy to sell on the open market to the highest bidder. In previous house purchases he has controlled expenditure on the house, and charged me for costs without prior agreement, and subsequently bought me out of previous properties at a low value. I wish to avoid this happening this time. I have not yet responded to the solictor letter, and wondered if I might need representation before I do this. I am clear on what I require and can outline.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: The house is in the Wirral, I am based in Brighton
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have spoken with estate agents to get valuations
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no

What do you wish to know?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
A number of things. He emailed to let me know he was going to use a solicitor, and that all future communication should be through them. After the solicitor How to respond to the solicitor letter
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Sorry that was incomplete, I will resend
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
After receiving his solicitor letter, he then emailed about rent. So can I email him directly or do I have to go through his solicitor?

Go through his solicitor. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Also he implied that when the house is empty of tenants he doesn't want me to stay there. Is he allowed to demand that? do I have any legal rights to stay there?

You can stay there as a joint owner. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Also I have asked for keys and he has not given me any. I was going to contact the tenant and go up on 9th and get a set of keys directly from them when they leave. Is this ok?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
The solicitor is proposing he wants to update the kitchen and bathroom before selling. Estate agents I have spoken with have advised not to do this as we will only recoup what we have spent (unless we are builders). Can I refuse to update and sell as it is?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
For the last 5 or 6 years we have been unable to agree on anything regarding the property. How do we navigate this while selling? eg I would want to use a fixed price estate agent such as Yopa, and he may wish to use a local agent on a percentage. What are my rights?

Yes you can get a set of keys from the tenant. Yes you can refuse to not contribute to any costs of updating and that you only want it sold as is. You should just agree to the sale, if you cannot agree how to sell you need to go to court for an order for sale and the court will enable one of you to sell the property without the others consent. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Similarly with any maintenance work done on the house, previously he has gone ahead and incurred costs without my agreement, then charged me for the work. I wish to have full say in all expenditures, and get my own quotations. But he doesn't seem to wish to use my quotes, and chooses much more expensive companies. Am I obliged to agree to this or pay this?

No. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have arranged valuations on 10th August. I have not discussed this with him - do I need to tell him, or can I just get the keys from the tenant and go there?

Just get the keys and go from there. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
He has assumed management of the tenancy and house, and blocked any input from me. He has not even put my name on any documents (except of course the title deeds and mortgage).
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
sorry incomplete

Just sell the house. I trust this assists

If you cannot agree then go to court for an order for sale. If you want to find a solicitor to assist with this process and represent you at the hearing you can find a solicitor using the Law Society find a solicitor search option here: You can search by town or postcode to find one near you, as well as area of law in this case property law. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
eg my name is ***** ***** the tenancy agreement, but I have had telephone conversations with the tenant. And he did not put my name on the insurance. I asked him to correct this and send me the certificate, but he has not. Should I ask his solicitor to arrange this

Sure go ahead

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
it's fine to get keys from the tenant even though my name isn't on the tenancy agreement

Yes. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
he wants to change the locks. I think this is unnecessary. Should I inform his solicitor that if he wishes to change the locks, he should do it at his own expense, inform me in advance, and supply me with keys immediately?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
he wants to get valuations and make me an offer. I want to put the house on the open market and sell to the highest bidder. Is it the case that I do not have to accept his offer, and instead market the house
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
for the sale of the house, do we each need a conveyancer or do we use the same one?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
do I need a solicitor to write to his, or can I respond myself? (assuming we can agree on the basics of a sale, and not have to go to court)

Yes re change of locks. No you do not have to accept offer. You can choose a joint conveyancer if you can agree. You can respond yourself. I trust this assists

Jeremy Aldermartin and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Another thing, it's historic, but may be worth mentioning, we bought previous properties together with me providing the deposit and owning a lower share but my name was not on the deeds unfortunately (don't ask me why - very trusting!) Years later he bought me out, and charged me capital gains tax, which de deducted from my share of the house. He still has the house, so it has never been sold, so has not incurred capital gains tax. Now I'm thinking only HMRC can charge capital gains and not individuals. What would you advise on that?

If this was more than 6 years ago you cannot do anything about it now. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** twice, one was definitely over 6 years ago, the other might be just within, I will check. What might be done in that instance? and am I right in thinking tha twas a false charge?

You might be able to argue breach of contract but it would be a long shot. There can be no CGT if the property was not sold. I trust this assists

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
His solicitor mentioned we had successfully separated our interests in other properties. Should i mention that in two of those properties where he bought me out but did not sell the property, he charged me CGT and give the amount? And ask what should be done about that, if he would like to reimburse me?

You need to instruct a solicitor to deal with all these issues. A local property solicitor should be sufficient. I trust this assists