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jusleen, Family Lawyer
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 942
Experience:  Qualified Family Solicitor practising family law since 1999. Member of resolution.
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I separated from my ex 2.5 years ago. When we separated,

Customer Question

Hi, I separated from my ex 2.5 years ago. When we separated, we had twin 2.5 years old.
We lived together from 2004 to 2012 in my flat. I owned the flat since 2001 and never intended to share equity with him.
We moved out in 2012 and I rented he flat, we separated 6 months later.
He paid me rent of 250 GBP per month during the time we lived in my flat. He is now saying he wants to claim his 'share' of equity in the house, even though he had been able to save enough money during that time to buy his own place (which he did). The rent he was paying was nominal compared to what he would pay if he would have been in a rental place.
Can he claim a share of the equity?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  jusleen replied 2 years ago.
Hi technically he can make a claim for a declaration of beneficial interest which means he will be asking the court to decide that he has an interest in your property and to quantify the same. In order to do that he would have to show that there was an express intention by both that he should have an interest which means that something in writing to show that he should have a share. If there is nothing in writing which is the indication I get from the information you provide, then he would have to show that he has acted to his detriment by financing the maintenance or upkeep of your property on a promise he will get something. He would have to show that he has either contributed towards the mortgage, renovation or decoration costs or manually done work to enhance the property. Prior to making any application to court he would be required to go through mediation to resolve issues. If mediation is unsuccessful then only can he make an application before the court. I hope this assists. Please let me know if you require any further information. Please rate the answer so that I can be credited for my time. Kind regards Jusleen
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jusleen, thanks for your response. Just so I am clear in understanding his chances of building a case, here is some additional information:- before we moved in together I made it clear The property would remain in my name and be mine. He was risk averse and was not interested in buying. We talked about having a cohabiting agreement to state this, but never actually did it. I have no physical evidence of this
- i did extensive renovation work which I fully financed. I spent £60k. I also did a lot of work myself including electrics and plumbing. He did some painting but he claims he dedicated 'every weekend to the renovation work for years' which is untrue. He barely got involved.
- he was able to buy his own property with savings from the low rent he was paying
- he moved out in 2012 and has not made any contributions to the maintenance or looking after of the property. It has been rented and I no longer live in London but he does. Can he bring up this type of claim after all this time? He has also married and bought another property in 2014.
- what evidence would be accepted by a mediator/court to concede that he actually has a claim? He would really have to lie, I am trying to anticipate whether he could substantiate the lies.
- if he lost the claim, would he be liable for my legal/mediation costs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One more question, if I were to sell the property or remortgage it in full, would that reduce my risk as there would no longer be equity to share?
Expert:  jusleen replied 2 years ago.
Hi he would need to show proof of the work he carried out either financially or physically. If all he ever paid was a regular contribution of £250 PM with no other bills then it does not look like he can build a successful case. If you have evidence that it was you that did the work and paid for the cost then this would be evidence you would adduce.
In relation to costs mediation costs are not claimed back but if he loses his claim in a court application for a declaration of beneficial interest then you can seek a costs order for him to pay your legal costs. If you do remortgage or sell and he can prove a claim then you will be liable to pay what you owe. That would not be an advisable option.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is proceeding with this claim for revenge because he does not agree with the visitation schedule for the children. I have several emails from him with threats expressing this. Can I use his to disarm his claim?
Can I refuse to participate in mediation?
In addition to the 250 monthly contribution he paid his share of bills like water, gas, and electricity which we split at 50%. I made all the payments to the utilities companies and he and I would square out every once in a while and usually take into account other joint expenses like holidays, food etc. I paid solely for any improvements, repairs, maintenance and related materials, the lease, the legal expenses for the license for alterations, building insurance, appliances and built in furnishings and anything to do with the house. Not only that, I was the one making appointments with builders, plumbers, etc and letting them in and out, giving them instructions etc. he was never involved in any aspect of the house other than some painting which he did voluntarily.Could he prove detriment when he was clearly able to pay a deposit for his own flat after moving out? We had similar earnings except the last two years in which he was earning more while I was on maternity leave.The property value barely broke even with the costs when we moved out taking into account mortgage payments for 11 years and cost of improvements. However, the property value shot up right after moving out. Would he have a claim to that value? Had the property prices gone down, he would not be making this claim...
Expert:  jusleen replied 2 years ago.
Hi it would be advisable to go mediation because if you do not go then he will get exemption on the basis that you have not participated. You can provide any evidence that would show that he is making a nuisance claim and not a genuine claim.
Expert:  jusleen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there I note that you have not accepted my answer. Please can you do so I order for me to be credited for my time. If you wish to continue the dialogue on this thread I am happy to continue at no extra charge. Kind regards