Areas of Law / Property

My partner and I took out a mortgage of £45000 on a property in joint names in 1991, In 2005 I left after breakdown in relationship. I paid her £150 a week for just over 1 year until I could not afford to continue to do so. I wanted to sell the property so we could sever all ties but she did not want to do this and asked to stay in property until the mortgage finished in 2016. This I agreed to but I have now received a letter from her solicitor stating that they want half the mortgage payment and endowment since 2005 as well as half the shortfall on the endowment. However if I sign the property over her entirely they will not pursue this through the courts which they say will be at my expense. The property is now worth approx £130000. Where do I stand in this situation? Can they actually do this? I don’t have enough funds to even pay half the shortfall.

On the information you have provided, you would need advice under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act, which governs cohabitation. If the house remains in joint names then as a maximum you would be entitled to 50% of the equity within the property, at its current value. However, case law has developed over the last few years and your ex-partner will be able to show that it is “fair” for her to get a greater share of the house because she continued to pay the mortgage on the house (and the endowment). I do not agree you should be paying back half the monies but instead you should be asking for your share of the house. You need to consider mediation with your ex-partner and / or a round table meeting to try and reach an amicable agreement, otherwise it is a court application to force a sale of the house. You should contact your solicitor for further guidance on this matter.

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