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Thread: Joint tenant and rights to equity

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  1. #1
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    Default Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Can anyone help?

    My ex partner and I purchased a house in Jan 2007 he left in Dec 2007. After leaving he paid £50 a month towards a £1250 mortgage. For about 3 years, I am awaiting my old bank statements to confirm when the payments stopped.

    3 times I have offered to buy him out of the house, all ignored.

    Now the house is approx 150k in equity, and I have received a letter from his solicitor, asking for 'joint tenancy' to be ended and 50% of the equity, or he will force a house sale. I can prove I have had no payment from him, I have paid the council tax, upkeep on the house. There was no deposit it was a 100% mortgage.

    Just after a quick answer so I know roughly what to expect before I see my solicitor next Friday, who by all accounts seems to think I do need to sell up and pay him half?

    Many thanks for you help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Hi Rosebug,
    How much equity do you now have in the property? It is sensible to get proof of all payments he has made from when you purchased the property. Do you have children living at the property? Hopefully we can point you in the right direction or at least give you some ideas what information may be helpful to provide to the solicitor.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Quote Originally Posted by Peridot View Post
    Hi Rosebug,
    How much equity do you now have in the property? It is sensible to get proof of all payments he has made from when you purchased the property. Do you have children living at the property? Hopefully we can point you in the right direction or at least give you some ideas what information may be helpful to provide to the solicitor.

    House is worth around 280k mortgage is 126k. I am missing 3 bank statements, all of the mortgage payments have gone from my bank account.

    Yes i I have married and have 2 children living with me and my new husband.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Hi,
    Are they his children or you and your new husband's? Were you married to your ex?
    So currently you have about £154k in equity, so potentially he expects a 50% share so £77k.
    You believe that you have proof of what he has contributed to the mortgage over the years since you separated and he has made no other contributions. This may be a negotiating tool for you. Being joint tenants as I'm sure you are aware you are both jointly and severally liable for the mortgage payments. Equally in the absence of any declaration of trust document the assumption would be that any equity in the property would be on a 50/50 basis. However you can argue that this should be changed. In addition, should he force a sale the sale costs would also be deducted from the amount to be divided between you.

    The other aspect of joint tenancy is that if anything happens to either of you then the property would pass to the survivor of you. I would agree to a severance of the tenancy as soon as possible and also ensure that you have a current valid Will in which you can leave your share of the property to who you wish.

    Whether you were married or not will make a difference. Let me assume you weren't, you may have a claim/counterclaim under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, provided you can show exactly what amounts each of you has contributed both to the mortgage and any major works (other than general decorating). Do you have proof that you asked if you could buy him out previously? It would appear pretty unfair that for less than a years mortgage contribution, then a further 3 years contributing £50 per month he then receives 50% of the equity.

    I would not suggest immediately going down the Court route and issuing a claim, until you have explored exactly what it is he is after. The cost of making or defending a claim may outweigh the benefits of you being successful, arguing you are entitled to a larger share. It would be worth your seeing a litigation specialist lawyer for a free or reduced fee initial appointment to see what options you have.

    If you decide to take some advice, make sure you have the facts and figures and a timeline with you so that you can get down to the nitty gritty so to peak and not waste any of your appointment time. You really need to focus on the facts and try to keep emotion out of it, which is so difficult I know, but you need to use the time productively as possible in a short appointment.

    Obviously the lawyer needs to be aware of your current situation with regard to husband and children as this opens up other considerations.
    You say he has never agreed to let you 'buy' him out. Would this still be an option for you and your husband? Has his solicitor made any other suggestions as to how this could be dealt with?

    You definitely have some options. If you were married to your ex, did you ever settle the finances of the marriage with a Court order? This may be another way of dealing with matters but I won't go into any detail, unless you confirm you were married and the finances were never sorted out.

    Hopefully this has given you some ideas. Here if need anything.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    One quick question, was/is the mortgage on an interest only basis or a repayment one where you have been reducing the capital borrowed as well as the interest (i.e. as the capital borrowed reduces the equity in the property increases)?

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forum’s site rules don’t allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk . Our initial advice is always free.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Given the info provided at the beginning of your post, I have assumed this is a repayment mortgage, given the monthly payments you indicated against the mortgage amount borrowed. If this is incorrect do let me know although the outstanding mortgage is of course the outstanding amount that will have to be paid to the lender on transfer or sale, irrespective of whether interest only or repayment.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Hi sorry I can post a bit more detail now.

    No I was never married to my ex. The last letter I sent him was about 3 years ago from my solicitor asking for him to sever the joint tenancy - this was never answered. I sent the letter recorded if I am lucky I may find the original info but will ask the solicitor for it. If i remember correctly I also sent the letter from the mortgage company re him coming off the mortgage.

    I married my now husband in 2012. We have 2 children.

    I am still awaiting a few bank statements so I can prove that these were the only £50 payments I received, along with the money he paid into my account while living here.

    We are happy to sell as we have been thinking about moving for a while due to schools. I have requested 3 valuations which should happen this Friday/Saturday so I have a figure I can send his solicitor back.

    I was thinking of offering - half the mortgage payments while he lived here so £626.50 x 11 = £6891.50 plus the £50 per month for 3 years £1800 and maybe 1% of the equity.

    Unfortunately I think he see's this as easy money and will walk away with the 77k, and he will take me to court to force the house sale as I believe he is rather vindictive.

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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Sorry it was a repayment mortgage - where I have been paying off the capital. I have tried to re mortgage but he didnt sign any paperwork so have been stuck with the same mortgage since it was taken out,

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    From the sounds of it, he does seem to think he has a 50% entitlement. In my opinion he is mistaken. I suspect a 1% equity offer may be a little optimistic and would advise you get some legal advice on this as to the way forward that is most likely to get the result you want. It will need to be tempting but fair for you and your family.
    It is probably a good thing he has a solicitor as once they have the full facts they will hopefully point out the rather large issues there are with his current expectations!
    We're here if you need any support.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    In order for us to move to a decent house we would need around 60k for the deposit to make it work for us. Also the more we have the better are buying position is.

    Maybe I should offer up to 5 % of the equity plus the half mortgage payments, and the £50 token payment.

    I think that is fair - considering he has not made a payment for years so is effectively getting money for nothing.

    The solicitor has moved the appointment to next week now! So more waiting, I know this is not going to be a quick thing but I would like to get it sorted sooner rather than later. I have a feeling this is going to end up getting nasty, when all I want is to move forward. Am thinking of looking into trying to find another one - but this one has all the previous information.

    We have looked into renting as well as selling so I have a few options.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Joint tenant and rights to equity

    Hi again,
    I think you need to take your solicitors advice on what a Court would likely award him if they were to decide. You will then have a best case offer maybe along the lines of what you suggest and a worst case that you may have to accept but is again a likely Court decision.
    You will get there, but it is so difficult when one party is just effectively wanting their day in Court!

    Try and trust his solicitor to guide him with what would be acceptable. His lawyer will of course be acting in his best interests but as I mentioned before I suspect they don't have the full facts. If he quickly changes solicitor, then I think you can assume it is because he is not hearing what he wants and refusing advice!

    Another week is not an issue in the bigger scheme of things, just very frustrating when as you say you want to get it finalised. If you are wanting to move anyway it does make it complicated if you are reliant on the proceeds from this sale for the deposit on your next home but you will get there. If you have the option of renting temporarily maybe that would be worth serious consideration so that when you do come to buy you know exactly what your finances are and don't then risk losing the house you want, due to any of his shenanigans. I know I'd be so angry and it wouldn't help my head when negotiating agreements.

    If you get on with your solicitor then I would stick with them. It will cost more money for another to take on the matter and 'catch up' with what has been going on, but not impossible for another lawyer to do. If you have lost faith in them, maybe ask around or have a look on the justbeagle.com site for local solicitors in your area who have litigation and family specialists.

    Good luck and here if needed.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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