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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi. If a house is bought in joint names (joint tenants) by

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Hi. If a house is bought in joint names (joint tenants) by an unmarried couple, the relationship ends and the house is sold, must the proceeds - legally - be shared equally, or according to initial contribution (I already know about tenants-in-common)? And does this picture change if/when the couple are married? Thanks!

Hi,

 

The essential nature of a joint tenancy is that the joint owners together own the entire interest in the property and neither owner is treated as having any particular share in it. This is taken to mean that you each have a 50% interest in the property.

 

It differs when you are married to the extent that it is an asset included in the matrimonial asset pool overwhich settlement is sought. Again there is a presumption that each party should receive 50% of the matrimonial assets, but this can be rebutted so that one party receives more depending on how long the marriage is, whether a person requires more income/capital for health reasons, a disparity in earning potential and, particulaly, where one person is to have residence of the children of the marriage.


I hope this helps, if so please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tom

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi there and thanks for the prompt reply, but I need to specifically clarify: if one party has paid all or most of the purchase (in the 'unmarried' scenario) does the law support the other's claim to 50% even where this can be clearly demonstrated? "Accept" cheerfully pressed upon reply!

Hi,

 

Yes, the law presumes and supports that 50% is held by both regardless of the amounts contributed. If the interests were to be different because of different contributions then a TIC should have been selected and a declaration of trust executed confirming that differing extents of interest are held.

 

If this was not explained to you by the conveyancer acting then you may have a claim against them.


Kind regards,


Tom

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