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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7432
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have a house with my ex fiance. He has lived there with his

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I have a house with my ex fiance. He has lived there with his family since we split in 2007. I've not been able to get off the mortgage in all that time because he not been able to afford it alone. now he wants to sell and tells me I will have to halve the loss on the house. Is there anything I can do?

Do you mean that the property is in negative equity and he has said that you will have to share half the deficit?

Did you execute a declaration of trust declaring your respective percentage interests in the property?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes negative equity...going off what he has said it is now worth. He had it valued without my knowledge. He has also been renting it out without my knowledge


I have had nothing down on paper. I have been constantly asking the mortgage company what I can do, and they have known the situation. But they have never offered any advice. Just that it is equal responsibility


Thanks for your patience.

First of all, if you hold the house jointly (as joint tenants) then each person's share woulld pass to the other upon death regardless of any direction made in your Will. If this is not what you want then you should sever the joint tenancy by using Form SEV from the Land Registry (you will have to send it to them and if you have any questions about completing the form you should call their customer service number - they are very helpful):-

You will then hold their interests as tenants in common, meaning that your respective shares will pass according to your wills or under the intestacy rules. Your ex-partner need not sign the form provided you follow the instructions.

The lender will not advise you on what you should do. They are an independent party in this, they can advise you of your responsibility under the mortgage, but not with respect to your legal position because that would be a conflict of interest.

Ultimately, the property cannot be sold without your consent because you are required to sign the contract and land registry transfer deed in order to convey the property in a sale.

He can force the sale by applying for an order for sale from county court, but not otherwise.

There is a presumption that you each own 50% of the property, unless there was an agreement to contrary. So, the presumption is that you would be responsible for half of the loss if sold when in negative equity,

You may consider delaying the proposed sale if you think that the property will recover it’s value in the near future so that either your negative equity is reduced or a small positive equity is realised. You should speak to the lender to confirm the amount outstanding on the mortgage. Then speak with an independent local agent to value the property and give their opinion on how long it will be until the property recovers some value.

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Kind regards,

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