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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6518
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi, I am currently in the process of a split with my partner.

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am currently in the process of a split with my partner. e are not married and have lived together for the last 7 years.
When we bought the property, she paid a deposit of £170k, I had approx £5000 from the sale of my house which contributed to furniture etc. I have been paying around 75 - 80% of all bills on the property for the time we have been in the house.
Unfortunately, the house is worth less than we paid for it but my partner is requesting her full £170k back. Whilst I apprciate that I did not contribute to the deposit, I have paid a considerable amount into the property over the 7 years and need some idea of what I will be entitled too when we sell it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Are you both named as registered propreitors of the property on the land registry title?

Are there any children of the relationship?

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes we are both named on the land registstry title.


 


We have a 5 year old son together

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Okay.

Did you execute a declaration of trust confirming the differing amount of your respective interests in the property?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


No. It was discussed with the Solicitor at the time but nothing was ever signed.

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.



You can hold a property in two ways 1) tenants in common, where you own your shares in the property separating and when one owner dies their interest passes according to their Will OR 2) joint tenants, where each parties interest is indistinguishable from the other, when one party dies that party’s interest passes to the remaining surviving joint owners. You should ask your solicitor how you presently hold the property, if you hold as joint tenants then you should consider severing this as otherwise your interest will pass to him upon death.

Unless there is a declaration of trust (for which you must hold your property as tenants in common) then there is a presumption that each party retains a 50% interest in the equity in the property .A declaration of trust (had you executed one) would state that you hold your interests in the properties in specified percentage shares and it could also say that each person only retains their 50% interest in the property subject to equal contributions to the relevant outgoings for the property. Therefore, there is a presumption that you are entitled to 50% of the equity in the property, which is obviously good for you and bad for her.

However, it is possible (for her) to claim greater than 50% of the equity in the property by litigating under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act if it can be shown that you intended to keep your finances separate and it would be inequitable for a 50% interest to be enforced.Tthis is a very specialised area of law and the legal fees are very expensive.

Your case is further complicated by the fact that you have a child. The child will be a key consideration here and any interest that you are able to establish may be subject to the child having a place to stay. So if she were to have residence of the child in the property then your interest and ability to force the sale of the property may be postponed until the child is 18. Again, she would have to litigate on this point.

In summary, because there is no declaration of trust there is a presumption that you have equal shares which means that her demands for the full £170k are not realistic but if you simply wish to recouple what monies you have spent in lieu of a deposit then you can attempt to negotiate with her with a view to settling without litigating. However, if she become adversarial and seeks to remain in the house with the child then your ability to realise this money could be postponed until the child is 18, so you’re going to have to think about it carefully.

I would suggest consulting a solicitor for specific advice following intial discussions with your parner

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the response, I havea clarification question in relation to it.


 


My Partner does not earn enough to continue to pay the mortgage without my input. Based on your response above, does that mean that if she chose not to sell the property (which I don't think she will) I would have to continue to contribute at the same percentage I am currently doing so or risk having the Mortgage company re possesing the house?


 


Could I continue to live there or would I be forced to move out?


 


There is no way I could afford to continue paying the same amount and be in a position to pay for a property of my own.

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

If you are named on as an owner of the property then she coudl not force you out of the house unless she got a court order stating that you should not have access.

If there is going to be difficulties paying the mortgage as a result of you moving out (if this is what you want to do) then you need to discuss urgently now what is going to happen when you do move out. If she cannto pay the mortgage and you cannot pay this and to accomodate yourself elsewhere then you need to both consider selling the property so that it does not get repossessed and you end up both incurring liability which coudl affect the child as well.

Please remember to rate my answer,.

Kind regards.

Tom
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6518
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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