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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10105
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I bought a house with a friend in 2007 as investment really

Customer Question

I bought a house with a friend in 2007 as investment really without thought.it was not my main home. I have never lived in it.We shared the deposit. My friend paid the interest only mortgage and has lived in it ever since. I have no return on it but pay nothing either. It has been run as a bed and breakfast commercially for many years, my friend making a living from the house.Now I want to get my name off the mortgage. He cannot afford to take on the mortgage in his own name so we have agreed to sell. Now we are talking about equity split.He is claiming half the mortgage payments for years which will effectively leave me with nothing. Is this likely to happen?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Hi

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you

What agreement (if any) was made at the time of the purchase?

Clare

Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

Under the law of Scotland this would be treated as a business partnership. The house is the main asset of the business. The income is the income of the bed and breakfast and the liabilities are the running costs, including the mortgage. That is the argument I would present to your friend. He can't have it both ways. Either he buys you out based on the value of the house with no deductions or the income from the bed and breakfast has to be taken account of along with the mortgage payments. It would be unfair that you have to contribute to an expense in connection with the property but not get the benefit of the income. That is called the doctrine of unjust enrichment and can apply where there is no contract regulating the ownership of the property. So the starting point is that the title is owned equally and that you are entitled to one half equity. If other factors such as the mortgage are to be taken into account then all relevant factors have to be taken into account and that includes the rents he has received in respect of a property that you own half of. I hope that helps. Happy to discuss further. In the meantime please leave a positive feedback so that I am credited for my time.