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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My ex partner and I bought a house jointly. After 6 months

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My ex partner and I bought a house jointly. After 6 months he left me- I had to pay the mortgage plus all the other bills etc even the ones that where in his name for example furniture he had left so that i wouldnt have bailiffs knocking at me door. its now 2 years later and he wants me to pay him back the £7 deposit he put into the house. The house is now in negative equity and if we sold the house i have worked out that once the mortgage and estate agents fees where paid we would only recieve £2000 each. I don't want to sell my house. To get him to sign over the property solely to me do I have to pay him the £7000 or the £2000??

Thanks for your question.

1) Did you execute a Declaration of Trust declaraing your percentage interests in the property or how each return of deposit should be dealt with?

2) Can you get a mortgage offer in your sole name?

3) What deposit did you contribute?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

We both own exactly half each i remember saying we would be joint so that if he died i would get all the house and if i died he would get all the house.


yes i can get a mortgage


I also contibuted 7k


Are there any children of the relationship?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

In the absence of a declaration of trust there is a presumption that you each have a 50% interest in the property. This can sometimes be rebutted by litigating where one party has made a greater contribution than the other, but it is expensive in legal fees to do so.

If you are to remortgage in to your sole name then the mortgage valuation will note the valuation of the property. The equity in the property will obviously be this sum less the amount required to redeem your present mortgage. Therefore, the amount of his interest would be half this sum and this would be the amount you should be expected to pay him to buy him out.

If he is not willing to transfer the house to you at the time you remortgage then you will have to apply for an order that the property is transferred and that you buy him out at the above price. If he is not willing to sign the transfer this is your only option, but in view of the fact that you alone have maintained the mortgage repayments you could be reasonable confident in obtaining such an order.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
so even though it was his choice to walk away and at the time advised he didnt want anything. By law he is still entitltled to half the equity? Even though any equity in the house is purely because I have maintained it and paid the mortgage each month out of my pocket? for example if at the point he had left we had sold the house we wouldnt of been able to pay the mortgage off at all - its only because I have maintained payments that there is any equity in the house? could I claim that he should pay half of the mortgage payments I have been paying for past year and a half? then it would be seem more fair he be entitled to half the equity?

There is a preumption that you each have 50% in the equity because there is no declaration of trust executed by you both either at the time you purchased or after you subsequently split which confrims you should have unequal shares.

In order to claim more than 50% of the equity you would have to do so by litigating. This is expensive but paying the mortgage for a significant period of time on your own is grounds for a claim that you should have more. It would seem reasonable for you to recover his half of the mortgage that you have paid if you had an understanding that you would both pay half of the mortgage. No doubt he will defend the any application you make and it could get more expensive and the legal fees you pay could further swallow up the equity or other money you have available.

If you had an understanding with him that you should each pay half the mortgage then you should ask that he continues to pay half the mortgage, but the liability under mortgages is joint and sevearal so the lender can sue either or both of you for any arrears that accrue. This is regardless of any agreement/understanding that you have with eachother, the lender won't care about that.

I would suggest that the best way out of this is for you to both attend mediation in the hope of finding a compromise solution to avoid litigating because the amount of money talked about here will be impacted by the fees you woudl have to pay in litigating.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards,