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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23414
Experience:  9+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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My former fiance and I purchased a home together 2 1/2 years

Customer Question

Hello, my former fiance and I purchased a home together 2 1/2 years ago. At the time of the purchase, since I did not qualify and she made the down payment only her name was put on the title and mortgage. We currently still live together in the home as we are raising two young girls together. She has made all mortgage payments and I have paid for other expenses, combined we split everything 50/50. Since we bought the property I have contributed to significant upgrades to the property from installing new flooring to building a deck and studio space. We both helped pay for materials to do the upgrades. Now we have decided to separate and have agreed that I can stay on the property while I build myself a small house in the back of the property. We both agree this is the best way to stay near our girls. I believe it's only fair that I now be put on the title but she does not want to do that. Am I entitled to be on it in anyway? How can I protect myself?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 2 months ago.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. You are right, it is VERY important for you to be added to title, so you have a legal right and interest in the property. Without it, based upon what you shared above, you would only be viewed as a tenant and unless you can show there was an agreement for a shared ownership interest, it may be hard to sue her and obtain a legal right in it, after the fact. You can sue her and go after your 50% share, if that was the agreement but if she can show and support she is on the loan, only her name is ***** ***** and she made the down payment and and pays the mortgage, you are going to have a hard time showing you have an ownership interest. I know this is not what you were hoping to hear but if you were to show that you payt. other expenses and made upgrades, the Judge is likely going to view you as a tenant. To protect yourself, you do need to get something in writing and make it clear that you can at least build a house in the back and live there, for as long as you desire and this is in exchange for not being on title or contributing to anything else.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 2 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!