UK Property Law
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I'm afraid that your brother can make an application to Court to force the sale of the property by way of a Court Order. Although you would be able to make representations as to why it should not be sold in practice these orders are seldom refused.
Unless there was an agreement to the contrary as to the extent of your interests in the property then there is a presumption that you hold 50:50 shares.
If the house is in negative equity though then you should try to reason with him by stating that the mortgage company will seek to recover the arrears from both you and him. You should try and persuade him to remain on the mortgage for the time being until the property has recovered in value and is no longer in negative equity.
This will afford you time to re-finance and, if possible, obtain a mortgage offer at a later date. State that if you cannot do this at the point in time when the property is no longer in negative equity then you will consent to the sale so that he will not have to incur the expense and stress of instructing a solicitor to prepare the application to Court and having a hearing.
Hopefully he will see the logic of this way forward for you both but the basic position is that he can make an application to Court for an order for sale.
Sorry it could not be better news.
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I have paid him out on an agreed amount already and his aim is to remove his name from the mortgage. Can he can still force a sale by applying to the courts? How long will this process take and if we have a secured loan on the property which has both of our signatures will he be subject to this also?
Hi Nathan ,
You may have paid him the amount already, but because he was not removed from the title to the property (or the mortgage) he would still be able to make an application to the Court. They are not keen on people remaining on the title/mortgage to a property if they do not wish to.
The mortgage and any secure loan will be repaid from the proceeds of sale.
It depends on how busy the Court is where the application is made but you would expect a hearing within 6 weeks of the application being made.
Appeal to his sense of financial prudence and ask that he wait until the property recovers some of its value, selling now (whether upon order of the court or not) suits no-one.
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