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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I'm a divorced single mum of a 5 years old child. My sole

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Hi I'm a divorced single mum of a 5 years old child. My sole name is ***** ***** deed of former matrimonial home. I have tried to sell the house for 2 years but couldn't. Now I have rented it out for short term lease. My ex husband was trying to force me for house sale. His name was NOT on the deed but will entitled half of the equity once the sale has gone through. He will sue me for delaying selling the property and gain rental income because I'm the legal owner of the property (as the deed says). Can a court order force me to sell immediately? and how? what if we couldn't find any buyers? Am I not allowed to rent it out?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Is there a Financial Order which was made within the divorce proceedings
If so what doe sit say about the house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, there is no Financial order from the court as such, there is only an written agreemen lodged by both parties' solicitor, that the ex matrimonial home to be sold as soon as reasonably practical at a mutually agreed selling price, once sold deducting the cost of sale & redemption of mortgage, any profit will be split equally. There is no mentioning of renting or a set timeline that the sale must be completed by.

Where are you and the child living now?
Why did the property not sell?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My daughter and I live in rented accommodation in Glasgow. The ex matrimonial property is 40 miles east of Glasgow. It's been on the market for more than 2 years for a fixed price that's already 10% lower than market value but still no buyers. It didn't sell for 2 reasons: 1). There's not enough buyers looking in the area; 2). It hasn't been modernised and my ex partner refused to contribute any renovation cost as he wants to slash the price down by a further 20% which I refused. I'm not prepared to sell my house 30% lower than market value. In additiona, my child is in full time childcare which I pay 100%. The rental income would support this. Currently my ex partner contributes minimum maintenance required by CSA which is 80 pounds a month. My question would be: I would still want to sell the house in the near future at a reasonable price, however I'm planning to rent it out for 1 year to cover cost such as mortgage and council tax. If he does take me to court, will the court force the house sale at a lower than market price? Thank you.

Scottish family law is different from English and Welsh family law so I shall opt out and transfer it to the correct section
It will take a little time but please be patient - my colleague is well worth waiting for
Thank you for your question. I am a Scots solicitor and will help you with this.
I don't think you have done anything wrong here. From what you say the Minute of Agreement provides for the sale and division of the free proceeds but specifically says that the house will be sold:
1. As soon as reasonably practicable.
2. At a mutually agreed price.
These provisions are of course a bit vague and not too cleverly drafted where you have a housing market that is still in recovery mode.
However, if your husband took you to court seeking implementation of the Minute of Agreement, which is what he would have to do, you could argue that the property was marketed "as soon as reasonably practical" but didn't sell "at a mutually agreed price". Indeed it didn't sell at market value.
Because he is making little in the way of child support contributions and because you can't afford to renovate as he has failed to offer a contribution you can argue that it is the best interests of both parties to rent out the property for a period.
He will say that there is nothing in the Minute of Agreement about this and that you have departed from the terms of the Minute of Agreement. If that is his argument then you can threaten to ask the court to vary the agreement on the basis that there is a change of circumstances in respect that the house has not sold as it was expected to do and has not achieved, thus far, the financial return expected.
From your narrative, a Scottish court is likely to have some sympathy with your position although as against that you will have to argue against the terms of an agreement that you did enter into at the time.
Note that the court cannot force a sale at any particular price. As he isn't on the house title he can't raise an action seeking the sale of the property, only for an order for implement of the agreement. So the court can't grant an order as to the price to be accepted. The agreement says "a mutually agreed price". Unless there is some kind of arbitration clause in the event of there being no agreement, then that clause could scupper any sale just by one party not agreeing to the price offered. For that reason it is very badly drafted but that bad drafting works in your favour on this occasion.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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