Property rights for unmarried couples

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Unlike married couples or those in a Civil Partnerships, cohabiting couples do not automatically have financial claims against each other upon separation.

Property rights for unmarried couples differ depending on whether the couple live in rented accommodation or whether they own a property together. In this blog, we look at some of the most common questions cohabitating couples have about their legal rights in respect of property:

Do I have a legal right to remain living in our home if my relationship has broken down?

Rented property

If you are living with your partner in rented accommodation and you are not named in the tenancy agreement, you have no rights to stay in the property if your partner asks you to move out.

However, if the tenancy agreement is in joint names you both have an equal right to stay in the property if your relationship breaks down.

If necessary, it is possible for a court to transfer the tenancy. For example, you may wish to transfer the joint tenancy into your partner’s sole name. However, bear in mind that your landlord would have to agree to any change to the tenancy agreement.

Top tip: Before moving into rented accommodation with your partner, ensure the tenancy agreement is in joint names.

Owned property

If the house you live in is owned by you both, you both have an equal right to remain in the property if your relationship breaks down.

If you are the sole owner of the property only you have the right to remain in the property unless your partner obtains an order from the court that he/she has a right of occupation, known as an Occupation Order (more about this below).However, it is important to understand that your partner may be able to claim a ‘beneficial interest’ in the property. A ‘beneficial interest’ may give a cohabiting partner who doesn’t own the property the right to:

  • Live in the property
  • A share of the income if the property is rented out
  • A share of the profit of the sale if the property is sold


Occupation Order

In certain circumstances it is possible, as an unmarried partner, to get a court order enabling you to remain (usually temporarily) in the property. This has to be done through court proceedings.

Am I entitled to half the house if we aren’t married?

The starting point is to look at how the property is owned.

If the property is owned jointly:

If you own the property jointly then the first thing to do is to establish if it is owned as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common. This can usually be established fairly easily and cheaply by obtaining documents from the Land Registry.

Joint Tenants – If you own the property as Joint Tenants then you do not own shares in it but are considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally.

Tenants in Common – If you own the property as Tenants in Common then you each own shares in the property. These shares can be owned equally, e.g. 50/50, or not, e.g. 70/30. If you own the property in non-equal shares then this would normally be evidenced by a document called a Declaration of Trust. If there is no evidence regarding the shares then there is a presumption that you will own the property in equal shares e.g. 50/50.

In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case.

These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon the person trying to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this.

If the property is owned in one person’s sole name:

If the property is owned in your partner’s sole name there may still be a document confirming that you have an interest in it. Again, this would normally be in the form of a Declaration of Trust.

If there is no Declaration of Trust you may still be able to show that you should have an interest in the property if you can demonstrate that:

  • There was a common intention between you that you would have an interest in the property and you have acted to your detriment in reliance of this.

Or

  • You were led to believe by your partner that you had a beneficial interest and as a consequence of this you acted to their detriment.

In other words you would, in most cases, have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore you expect to receive this capital back when the relationship breaks down.

Top tip: Before buying a property together or injecting capital/cash into a property that you owned jointly with your partner (or that is held in your partner’s sole name), make sure that you have an open discussion about whether it is intended that you will acquire a beneficial interest, or an increased beneficial interest, as a result. Always seek legal advice from an expert beforehand.

Our specialist Cohabitation Team are experts in assisting unmarried couples when a separation occurs. As we have seen in this blog, setting up property ownership in the right way can prevent disputes in the future, and protect your legal rights in case the relationship does break down in the future. Please contact us to discuss your unique circumstances.

283 responses on “Property rights for unmarried couples

  1. I split up with my childrens father in May 2018. He moved out for a few months, but had to move back into our property because he got himself into debt. I would like to know if i have any legal rights to get him to move out again, or would we have to sell to get out of this uncomfortable situation.
    We were together 20 years and have 2 children together (10 and 15 years old)
    Also, if we did have to sell, what percentage of the house sale would he be entitled to? I would be the one caring for our children.

    1. Thank you for your comment Nadina. If the property is held in your sole legal name, your former partner (I assume that you are not married) has no automatic right of occupation; you could request that he move out now. If the property is held in your joint legal names, the only way to force your former partner to move out of the property would be to obtain an Occupation Order from the court. Jointly owned property can only be sold if you both agree to the sale or if you obtain an order for sale from the court. If the property was to be sold then how the net proceeds of sale are distributed depends on a number of factors including the terms of any Declaration of Trust that you both entered into either at the time of purchase of subsequent to the purchase, your respective contributions to the purchase price, mortgage repayments and/or any major renovation works undertaken to the property. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old, may only be relevant if you wish to claim that the property should either be transferred to you (joint ownership only) or else the sale of the property deferred to allow you to care for the children; however, such applications can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family solicitor.

  2. Hi
    I have flat on my name I live with my partner just a general question if I die my property will go to who?as I have no family in UK..my family lives in Pakistan..
    Thanks

    1. Dear Naz, thank you for query. If the property is registered in your sole name and you were to die it would pass to whomever you choose to leave it to in your Will. I would recommend that you seek advice in relation to Wills and inheritance as soon as possible.

    2. Not married got 2 property’s my partner says I’m not on deeds of one but the second one was paid fore by me has a infest ant thinking I was on fitst one which I got 16000 under market price of mum removed second one she has not paid towards it has I rented it out been together 23 years

    3. Dear Terry, thank you for your comment. It is unclear what it is you are seeking advice on. If you are concerned about your legal rights in respect of the two properties we would advise you to seek legal advice from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible.

  3. I own a property with my partner we are not married. We have a daughter together and he has another child from a previous marriage.if I die or he dies who would inherit the property we own as joint tenants.

    1. Dear Michele. Thank you for your comment. Your property shares would be inherited in accordance with your Wills and where there is no Will the intestacy rules would apply. You should seek advice from a Wills specialist who you can find via the Law Society’s website here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  4. My son owns a house and his girlfriend is about to move in with him. If they split up what rights does she have over his house? I have heard that if he provides her with a rent book then she would not be entitled to a share of the house should they split up. Is this correct?

    1. Thank you for your comment. Having a ‘rent book’ would not necessarily prevent any claim by your son’s girlfriend. This is a complex area and as you will have read there are ways in which a ‘beneficial interest’ in a property can be established. Your son should seek legal advice and considering entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement with his girlfriend before she moves in. We can assist with this if he would like to get in touch.

  5. I own a property with my ex partner and have no children my ex does not contribute to the house and did not put any money down as a deposit on the house what are my legal rights to keep the property and for me to become the sole mortgage holder?

    1. Dear Tom, thank you for your question. As you will have read in the article much will depend on how you own the property. For example, if the property is owned jointly as ‘joint tenants’ then you will be considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered ? for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon you to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  6. I own a property with my ex partner as joint tenants, but now our son is 18 my ex wants money out of the property and has tried to force me to sign a Notice of Severance to convert the way we hold the property. I have refused as I do not wish to convert the percentage to 50:50 as I put up the entire capital deposit with the proceeds of the sale of a house I solely owned. I do not have a Declaration of Trust as he refused to sign it and at the time of moving I had a miscarriage and was being hurried to exchange contracts. What can I do to ensure I am awarded my capital back and that the property is not split so that he receives the same amount as me when he did not make the original investment.

    1. Thank you for your comment. As you will have read your type of case can be complex. I would suggest that you start by collating the information/documentation that you are able to. This link to one of our earlier blogs should help you with this: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabitation-and-property-unmarried-co-owners-what-documentation-should-you-collate/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

      Thereafter, I would strongly advise that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer. If we can help on a formal basis please get in touch.

  7. Have been living with my partner for 15 years in her house which is her name only. We have just split up and I wondered if I am entitled to any share of the value for the time we lived there together. I have contributed to bills, upkeep etc. We have a verbal agreement that if we split up she would give me some money as a settlement but have nothing in writing apart from some texts and emails discussing it. I have read about a ?beneficial interest? and wonder if this applies in this case as she is talking about selling the property early next year? I have also read about a declaration of trust?

    1. Dear Bill, thank you for your comment. As you will have read your type of case can be complex. I would suggest that you start by collating the information/documentation that you are able to. This link to one of our earlier blogs should help you with this: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabitation-and-property-unmarried-co-owners-what-documentation-should-you-collate/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners
      Thereafter, I would strongly advise that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer. If we can help on a formal basis please get in touch.

  8. Condensed : I moved out of my property in 2004 with two boys (3 and 5) because of their abusive co-habiting father, after 5 years of living together. He refused to move out. I felt I had to move out instead. Mortgage is ?230.00/month. My rent is ?530.00/ month. He has insisted on paying mortgage directly into my building society, against my wishes ( believes that he can claim ownership by doing so). Did not want to move back because of fear of intimidation and have tried over the years to negotiate sale of house, but he refuses to communicate. He placed an ‘interest’ at land registry. Have not taken to court due to worry of costs and having little money. He has never volunteered child maintenance, although now owes ?5,000 in arrears through CMS. He changed locks and moved another woman into house within days of my moving out. My financial situation is very difficult now and I am struggling ( I cannot claim housing benefit due to property I own).
    My question is : now that children are grown up( but still at home) what right do I have to move back into property ? And for him to move out ?

    1. Dear Eileen, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. Your situation is complex and I would strongly advise you seeking legal advice from a Resolution specialist to look at the options available to you. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  9. My ex partner and I joint own a flat (50/50) that we lived in together for 3 years. After we split up, he made it impossible to co-habitate during confinement due to his abusive behavior and invasion of privacy (going through my computer, phone, social media accounts, etc.). Instead of calling an abuse hotline (as I maybe should have), I moved out to protect myself. Because the property is joint owned, I still pay my half of the mortgage (as I’m legally bound), but also have to pay my new rent. I want out of this property as soon as possible as I cannot afford to be paying for a flat that I cannot even live in, but he refuses to cooperate. I want to sell, he refuses. Yet, he constantly reminds me that I must continue paying. He also has opened my mail multiple times without my permission. I want to be as civil as possible and avoid bringing up any abuse, but he’s backing me up against a wall.
    My question is: What are my rights? Am I entitled to sell my half without his agreement? Is there any way to require him to pay me “occupational rent” for the my half of the mortgage, since I am not able to live there? Thanks in advance

    1. Dear Katherine, thank you for your comment. We cannot provide specific advice within this forum. However as a joint owner there are options open to you to potentially ‘force’ a sale. We would recommend seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible,

  10. My daughter was living with her baby?s father in a house purchased in his sole name. She transferred ?20?000 to his account in order for him to purchase the house. This was in the hope that they could have a future as a family. This property came with land & animals, livery which my daughter put her heart & soul into looking after financially as well as her time, while being a new first time mum. Her partner continued to work away each week spending minimal time with her & baby. He also has regular access to two children from a former relationship in the mix. She paid for all things for baby, food shopping, Skye tv, and many other extras. He paid mortgage & utility bills. He has not in any way contributed financially to the baby since the day he was born. He has also accused her of living in ?his? house rent free for two years!
    He has a well paid senior management job & other sideline businesses. He is also 20 years her senior.

    Their ?relationship? broke down within the first year and she finally moved out in July, having lived there for two years under duress. Daughter & grandson are now living with us Now while she tries to sort herself out. She is working nights to try to support herself & her son. He has contributed nothing so far financially. He continues to reside in the house that she helped to pay for. He is refusing to give her back her investment (?it wasn?t try before you buy?). Also He has made minimal effort to see the baby, blaming her for everything.
    Unfortunately for her, no legal document was made around her investment.
    Do you think she has any chance at all of getting this money back?

    1. Dear Sharon, thank you for your comment. We cannot provide specific advice within this forum. We would recommend your daughter seekS urgent advice from a Resolution lawyer to consider the options that may be available to her. In the meantime your daughter should contact the Child Maintenance Service so that an assessment can be undertaken in respect of child maintenance. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  11. I have lived in my partners house for 15 years. She is now in a care home. Will her house have to be sold to pay her fees or am I entitled to stay there?

    1. Dear Mike, thank you for your comment. We are unable to assist you with your query, at this stage, but would recommend that in the first instance you speak to a lawyer who specialises in assets being used to meet care home fees. A lawyer who specialises in Welfare Benefits or Private Client work (e.g. Wills etc) should be able to assist.

  12. Hi. I lived with my abusive ex for 4 years in a home he owns which he bought a year previous to us being together. When I moved in the property needed work doing to it. Since moving in I paid for work to be done, paid for council tax, and some other bills and would pay for all the food which food alone would be more than the mortgage a month. We have 2 children together also. He said after we split I could have the house but I was too emotional to be there. After doing the work to the property it has added value to it. I was wondering if I had a claim for the property if it were to be sold?

    1. Dear Marie, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. As you will have read if you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be.

  13. Hi me and my ex partner moved in to a property together in 1999 but she couldn’t get credit so i got the mortgage jn my name only we then had a child who is now 19 years old. We split up in 2017 and she said she didn’t want any claim on the property because our son stayed liviing with me My son has now moved in with his mother but i am now worried thar she will make a claim against the property what rights does she have?

    1. Dear Scott, thank you for your comment. You didn’t say whether you purchased the property in joint names or whether the property is owned solely by you. This will be relevant as to the options available to your former partner. As you will have read, if the property is not owned jointly or where there is no Declaration of Trust, your former partner would need to prove that she had an interest in the property and she may be successful if she is able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that she would have an interest in the property and she has acted to her detriment in reliance of this or she was led to believe by you that she had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this she acted to her detriment. In other words she would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property she did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore she expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/

  14. Hello, as an unmarried couple we are buying a property as tenants in common. We are both approaching the latter quarter of our lives. What happens if my partner passes away, and has put his children in the will for his estate? Do I have the right to keep on living in the property on my own until I also die? Or if not, what could we do to ensure that either of us can do so, and can this still be overturned by the inheritors (children)?

    1. Dear Karen, thank you for your questions. These issues are best dealt with in your Wills and you should seek advice from a Wills expert as to what your options are. You may also wish to consider entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement to make clear what your intentions are in the event that you separate or one of you dies. You may find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-couples-what-happens-if-one-partner-dies-when-there-is-no-will-in-place/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/

  15. My partner and I are about to sign for a house. My partner is putting 30k deposit down therefore signing a declaration of trust to protect this. This means we will be tenants in common. My name is also on the house we will pay 50/50 mortgage.

    My partner has two children from a previous relationship who stay with us 3 nights a week. If we were to split up and I wanted to sell the house, would he be elidgable to stay due to having children? Or would he either be made to buy me out or sell too?

    We are not married.

    My fear is that if our relationship were to break down he would be able to stay in the house until the children are 18, and I would be stuck on the mortgage till then and can not get off it?

    Thanks for your help

    1. Dear Claudia, thank you for your comment. We would recommend entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement as well as the Declaration of Trust so as to ensure that you are in agreement as to what would happen to the property in the event that you do separate. Given that the children do you not live with your partner on a full time basis it is unlikely that a court would order that the property should not be sold particularly if there is a Declaration of Trust and a Cohabitation Agreement in place which states that it would be sold on separation. If your partner refused to sell you would need to obtain an Order for Sale from the court. If we can assist in relation to the Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement please get in touch.

  16. My partner has a property on his name it was my family home I have 3 kids to him. He moved me and the kids out because his parents had issues with me. And he?s also now put his mum and dad on the trust of deeds. Can I still register my interest in the property.

    1. Dear Aisha. Thank you for your comment. As you will have read these matters can be very complicated and are not straightforward. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. We would recommend seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible who will be able to provide details of the options available to you, if any.

  17. My ex partner and I (we were not married) purchased a property as joint tenants. My ex paid the mortgage and I paid the utility bills and all expenses for our child. Since our separation he has moved out and is now stating that he should have 100% ownership of the house. Am I entitled to 50% ownership of the property even though I did not make contributions to the mortgage, which has now been fully paid.

    1. Dear Anne, thank you for your comment. As you will have read if the property is owned jointly as joint tenants then you are considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally.

  18. Bought a house with partner 3 years ago, both on the mortgage- nothing else documented. She put in 106k deposit which we have both agreed she gets back. We both paid the mortgage equally, we then split and I moved out to allow her to stay in the house with our child- joint decision. I continued to pay half the mortgage and child maintenance, while paying for a new rent for 6months after moving out. I then asked to sell the house as I couldn?t afford to keep paying half the mortgage as well as my accommodation costs- she said she didn?t want to move and that she could cover most of the mortgage on her own so I reduced my mortgage contributions to ?150 and continued to pay child maintenance. Issue is now we are selling she is rug using a 50:50 split of profits stating I did not contribute 50:50 towards the Mortgage..
    please any advise would be much appreciated.

    1. Dear Andrew, thank you for your comment. As you will have read much will depend on how you own the property, what documentation there is and what agreements are in place. I have assumed from the information that you have provided that you own the property jointly. What isn’t clear is whether you own the property as joint tenants or tenants in common in unequal shares (to take account of the deposit). This will be relevant as to the options available to you and your former partner. I would recommend you seek advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. In the meantime you may find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/

  19. Dear Sir/Madam

    I was wondering if you could help me out, I am married religious but not civil by the state, could me and my partner split 50/50 on the property i bought, in case the relationship doesn’t work out or do i need seek legal advice.

    1. Dear Zaki, thank you for your comment. We would need to understand a lot more about your situation to be able to assist further. We would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer so that you understand the options available to you and ensure that the advice is specific to your circumstances. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  20. After 40 years in my council home I built up the full discount .I then bought the house with my now ex partner after 18months .we signed a tenants in comman .has he rights to my discount

    1. Dear Beverley, thank you for your comment. I note that you make reference to having purchased the property as ‘tenants in common’. Ordinarily, if you purchase as tenants in common we would expect to see something which sets out the shares you each own in the property. If you own it in an unequal shares then this would be usually be evidenced by a Declaration of Trust document. If there is no evidence that you own the property in unequal shares there will be a presumption that you own it in equal shares e.g. 50/50. To take account of your ‘discount’ you would need to prove that you had a greater interest in the property and you may be successful if you are able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that you would have a greater interest in the property and that you have acted to your detriment in reliance of this. In other words, you would have to prove that you used your discount in return for a greater interest in the property and as such, you expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible.

  21. A relation of mine, let’s call him John, has long been the sole outright (mortgage-free) owner of a house. His partner, “Jane”, moved in with him in 1995 and that year they had their first child, and a second five years later. The relationship ended in 2002 and John agreed to move out, leaving Jane and the children to live in his house rent-free. At some point an informal verbal agreement was reached that when the property was eventually sold Jane would get half the proceeds so she would not be homeless. Since John moved out, Jane has paid for some minor improvements to the property – a loft conversion and new kitchen. Jane earned rent from lodgers over the years, none of which was given to John (he did not ask for any of this income). John has no intention of reneging on his verbal agreement but as a point of reference, what are Jane’s legal entititlements to the proceeds of the eventual sale of the property? (The verbal agreement does not seem to meet the criteria of a contract, not least because there was no “exchange of value” and no expressed intent to enter into a legally binding contract”. ) Thank you.

    1. Dear Tony. Thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum and the circumstances you describe are complex. We would recommend that ‘John’ seeks legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. If we are able to assist on a formal basis then please ask ‘John’ to contact us.

  22. My partner and I are joint tenants of a house that we bought together and have lived in for 11 years. He also owns a flat in his sole name, which I have contributed towards the mortgage for those 11 years. We are now in the process of splitting up. I am I entitled to a share in the value of the flat seeing as I helped pay the mortgage on it?

    1. Dear Anne, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. As you will have read if you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be.

  23. Hello! My partner and I are joint tenants of a house that we bought together and have lived in for 11 years. He also owns a flat in his sole name, which I have contributed towards the mortgage of for those 11 years. We are now in the process of splitting up. Am I entitled to a share in the value of the flat seeing as I have helped pay the mortgage on it?

  24. My partner moved in with me a year ago, I have no mortgage. We are now moving and I am paying for the property in full. Just wondering if she will have any rights on the property if we was to split up?

    1. Dear Lee, thank you for your comment. It will be important to ensure that the property is purchased in your sole name only. This is a complex area and as you will have read there are ways in which a ?beneficial interest? in a property can be established. You should seek legal advice and considering entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement before you move in together. We can assist with this if you would like to get in touch. You can read a little more about cohabitation agreements her: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/

  25. I own a property that is solely in my name and my unmarried partner lives with me in it with our children. If I leave the house until the children are grown up but continue to pay all expenses and maintenance costs would she be able to transfer the house into her name?

    1. Dear Jeff, thank you for your comment. If the property is in your sole name your partner would not be able to transfer the property into her name without your consent or knowledge. In order to minimise any claims your partner may have either now or in the future you should seek advice from a Resolution lawyer. We would recommend that any agreement is incorporated into a legally binding document. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  26. I have lived with my partner for 9years in that time I have split the bills paying into her bank my name isn?t on mortgage but I have worked hard to get the house refurbished and done all the work to it she done some but I am a mutli trade and employed as this the house was just about finished and she said i had to leave we were over proof of work i done is pictures and bank transfers of money she is sole owner of house and remortgage when we were together she took care of all things like that as she is an accountant do i have any right to anything thanks for your help

    1. Dear Tommy, thank you for your comment. As you will have read these issues can be very complex. If you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be.

  27. Me and my 6 year old son are looking to get a house with my boyfriend, he?s going to sell his current house to pay for our new house, as I haven?t contributed the same amount as he has towards the mortgage and it will be in his name he wants me
    To sign a cohabitation, I?m scared that may leave me and my son homeless if we ever split and I could potentially have another child with him in all of this, would I have any rights or would I be left homeless with the kids?

    1. Dear Nina, thank you for your comment. Before entering into a cohabitation agreement it will be important to get your own legal advice. The terms of the document should be agreed between you before it is signed and therefore you will have an opportunity to deal with the concerns that you have raised. As you will have read property rights between unmarried couples can be complex and so it is very important that you seek advice from a Resolution lawyer before you move in together. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  28. I am getting engaged to my partner. At this moment in time we have plans to marry yet.
    As we both own our own property I would like to know if her children have any claim to my property and my children to her property

    1. Dear Ian, thank you for your comment. Your respective children do not have any automatic claims against your properties. However, marriage brings about certain legal issues that you should get advice on before getting married. We would certainly recommend that you consider entering into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement so that you can both protect your properties in the future. If you are currently living together or are about to move in together you should also consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement.

      You can read about Cohabitation Agreements here: https://1gu3xt3qq8id2mr6f51sklsr-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Cohabitation__Living_Together_Agreements.pdf and

      Pre-Nuptial Agreements here: https://1gu3xt3qq8id2mr6f51sklsr-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FLP_Factsheet_-_Prenuptial_Agreements.pdf

      You should also ensure your Wills are up to date.

  29. My partner and I own a house. We have 4 children all under 16 years old and I am currently awaiting to be sentenced in court for 1 charge of section 39 common assault during a domestic argument we had. I am not allowed to indirectly or directly contact my partner however if she decides she wants to separate and I believe this is the case. She has already changed almost all the bills into her name, created a new bank account and deposited a fairly large amount into it . I am happy to assist her and want her to be secure. ut it seems sensible to ask what rights do I or we have on the property both occupancy and or the ownership?

    1. Dear Simon, thank you for your comment. As you will have read as a joint owner of the property you do have a right of occupancy unless there is an order in place preventing you from doing so. It appears there is an order or bail in place which is preventing you from contacting your partner either directly or indirectly and therefore you should not seek to move back into the property. However, this does not dismiss your financial interest or ownership of the property. We would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible so that you can discuss the options that are available to you.

  30. hello,

    I am a named person on the mortgage i have with my partner we also have a child who is two, i haven’t paid money towards the mortgage deposit but i have looked after the house and maintained it, looked after our child and also bought items for the house from food to accessories.
    Our relationship is broken down and we are looking at separating he is wanting to stay in the house so me and our child move out, he does not want to sell but where does this leave me with the mortgage and do we need to look at getting this spilt 50/50 as currently he feels i am not entitled to anything or could just do a small pay ff for me which doesnt make up much of the money in the house?
    Thanks

    1. Dear Georgina, thank you for your comment. As you will have read you may have an interest in the property and given that you have a child together there may be other options available to you. We would recommend that you do not move out or agree to anything until you have received advice from a Resolution lawyer.

  31. I bought a house in 2015 with mortgage in manchester as a sole owner, met partner and she cohabited in 2016 with me for 18 months (first 9 months majority at her mom’s in kent, then our child was born, partner cohabited with me for the other 9 months in my house before seperation. Can she make any kind of claim on behalf of my daughter?

    1. Dear Charlie, thank you for your comment. We cannot provide advice on specific circumstances and without knowing more detail as to the background and the current circumstances of you and your former partner and daughter. We would recommend that you seek advice from a Resolution lawyer so that they can provide advice as to any potential claims your former partner may be able to pursue.

  32. Hi Lisa
    My partner and I are ‘tenants in common – 50/50’ since buying in Feb 2018. We have split up and she is living in the property with me. She has made no financial contributions since leaving her job 2.4 years ago and made none towards the deposit – only nominal amounts over the fist 6 months of the mortgage. I would like to keep on the house and live here alone. Would she be entitled to half of any profit?

    1. Dear Alan, thank you for your comment. I note that you make reference to having purchased the property as 50/50 ?tenants in common? which means the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered ? for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon you to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  33. My brother is currently in hospital . He has been living with his partner for approximately 20 years but she unfortunately died 2 years ago. she had written in her will that he would keep the property until his death then it would go to her two sons, however now he is in hospital they are saying they do not want him back in the house and he has no legal rights although he has being paying the bills since her death. I wonder if anyone can tell me if this is legal or not? Many thanks in advance.

    1. Dear Mick, thank you for your comment. I am sure this must be a very worrying time for you and your brother. Given that your brother’s partner died 2 years ago and provided for him to remain living at the property your brother will need to seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in General Litigation/Property Disputes. You will be able to a suitable lawyer by searching The Law Society’s web site here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/?Pro=True

  34. My partner and I bought our house jointly 19 years ago. The mortgage was based on just his income as I was not working after having a baby but the house is in both names. He paid the mortgage, council tax and the two main utilities and I pay the water bill, buy all the food and other things. We are considering separation and he is adamant that I am not entitled to a penny from the house because of what he has paid compared to me.
    Is he right ? It?s getting me down that he tells me I have nothing

    1. Dear Chris, thank you for your comment. I note that you make reference to the property being jointly owned although it is unclear whether this is as joint tenants or tenants in common. If the property has been purchased as joint tenants then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered ? for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon your partner to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  35. I have just bought a house for myself, my partner and her children. I paid for the property and pay all the bills, but we are tenants in common.. However just 1 month after the purchase I feel that I have been used as a cash cow. She contributes nothing to the house and does not work. I take it I have lost half of the money I put into the property should things come to an end?

    1. Dear Dai, thank you for your comment. It is possible to enter into a Declaration of Trust and or Cohabitation Agreement after the property has been purchased. However, this will require agreement from your partner. I would recommend seeking advice, as soon as possible, from a Resolution lawyer so that you can discuss the options available to you. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  36. Hi, my partner(not married) split up 2 years ago after 11 years together.
    I owned the house(paying a mortgage) when we met. When he moved in with me he went on the mortgage.

    Now we have separated i am paying the mortgage and bills solely, he makes no contribution.

    I now want him off the mortgage. What can he claim?.

    1. Dear Rebecca, thank you for your comment. Much will depend on how the property is owned. You have mentioned that your partner went onto the mortgage and I therefore assume he also became a joint owner of the property at that point. If the property is owned jointly and in the absence of any express agreement with regard to the shares in which you each own the property, then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions.

      In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered ? for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case . These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  37. Iv being living with my partner for 14 years . the bills are joint both name but hes the sole name on mortgages. And hes just die suddenly .do i have any right to stay in my home .

    1. Dear Tina. Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear of your partner?s death. Much will depend on whether the property is in your joint names and if it isn?t he may have dealt with this scenario in his Will. If there is no Will you may be able to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. You will need to seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in these types of claim. The Law Society will help you find a lawyer who can assist: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  38. Hi,
    I have separated from my partner (not married) and we own our property as joint tenants.
    He has moved out and we need to sort the mortgage out. He is saying we have 2 options, the first being to sell the house and split the proceeds, second option is i buy him out.

    He is asking for 50k, and won’t budge, i cannot afford that much (bank won’t lend me that much to pay him off) and am worried that he will go to court to force the sale of the house and will then end up with half. Can he do this?

    Thanks

    Can he do this

    1. Dear Tina. As a joint owner your partner has the option to seek an order from the court to force the sale if you are unable to reach an agreement. We would strongly recommend inviting your partner to Mediation with a view to considering the options and hopefully reaching an amicable agreement without the need to involve the court.

  39. My ex-partner and I (unmarried) split up a year ago after 8 years together, 4 of which we have spent living in our home which we own as beneficial tenants in common. We have always paid everything 50-50, although he made a slightly higher contribution to the deposit. We have talked about the future and were in no hurry to sell the house. My ex has always said he considered the house to be more my home that his. He is now involved in a woman from our friendship group and has been staying at her house for the last few months. Shew rents with another member of our friendship group. I have noticed a change is her attitude towards me since she started seeing my ex. Last night my ex came to our house and told me that his dad was putting pressure on him to sort his money out and that he came into the house with ?10,000 and should come out of it with ?10,000. He told my ex that I can buy him out and all my ex has to do is give me 6 months notice to either give him ?10,000 or he will sell the house from under me to raise his ?10,000 back. Can he really do this?

    1. Dear Sam, thank you for your comment. If the property is legally owned by you and you former partner in joint names then either of you has the option of seeking an order for the sale of the property through the court. Again, if you are joint owners of the property it would be extremely difficult for your former partner to ‘sell the house from under you’ as both owners are required to sign the relevant paperwork. We would strongly recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that you understand your legal position as an owner and also to consider the options that are available to you to resolving this matter.

  40. Hi, my partner lived with me in my rented home for 2.5yrs the tenancy is soley in my name he did some work on my garden we have since split up now hes claiming money through solicitors letters for the work he did and cost although he took it upon himself to do this there was no agreement his letter stated he would take me to small claims court if i didn’t pay. do I have to pay him ?

    1. Dear Andrea, thank you for your comment. Our view is that it appears unlikely that your former partner would have a case. However, without knowing the basis of the claim and all the facts it is impossible to know with certainty. We would recommend seeking advice from a lawyer who deals with civil litigation matters as this is unlikely to fall within the family law arena. You will be able to find a suitable lawyer in your area via the Law Society’s web site. https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  41. Hi so me and my partner are splitting, he wants to sell our family home I do not as we have a 3 year old son who is settled, it is next to his school and family. We both jointly own the property 50 / 50. What legal right do I have ? I do not wish to move I want a stable family home for my son but I do not have the money to buy him out ..I can afford to live here with my son , I work part time and have my little boy on my days off

    1. Thank you for your comment. As a joint owner of the property you have a legal right to occupy the property, as does your partner. Jointly owned property can only be sold if you both agree to a sale or if your former partner obtains an order for sale from the court. The fact that you have a child together who is under 18 years old, may only be relevant if you wish to claim that the property should either be transferred to you (joint ownership only) or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow you to care for your son. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

  42. Hi
    My partner and I have lived in my house (all in my name, I pay the mortgage, he pays the council tax) since 2015. We are currently in the process of moving. The new house will also be in my name and I will be paying some of the mortgage, with my partner contributing the rest. He is not named on the new mortgage as it would have been even more per month due to his previous financial history (his ex-wife bled him dry and would still do so given half a chance, even though she was at fault and they divorced as a result of that). My partner has received a form from my new mortgage provider to say he has no claim on the house if we split up. To say he is not pleased about this is an understatement. His elderly mother is not in the best of health and we had discussed that if there is any money from her estate, we would pay a chunk of the mortgage off, which seemed sensible to us both. Is there any document that could be drawn up to say that if we split up, he would get the money back he had put into the house? We would obviously sell the house if we did split as i couldn’t afford the mortgage on my own.

    1. Dear Ailsa, thank you for your query. We would recommend that you and your partner enter into a Declaration of Trust which would record the financial arrangements between you and specifically deal with your respective interests in the property. A Declaration of Trust will ensure there is certainty and, hopefully, avoid disputes as to what you are both entitled to in the future. The document should always be drawn up by a solicitor and would normally be signed at the same that the property is purchased. They are particularly useful if one person puts a larger deposit in or one party pays more of the mortgage, for example.

      The Declaration of Trust and legal ownership of the property is recorded against the property register at the Land Registry. Your conveyancing solicitor should be able to assist you with this. As well as a Declaration of Trust you should consider entering into a Cohabitation agreement (also known as a Living Together Agreement). A cohabitation agreement can support the Declaration of Trust by reiterating the different amounts that may have been contributed to the purchase and how they might be repaid at a later when the house is sold. Importantly it can also deal with other important issues such as who will pay for what going forward.

      You may find this article helpful: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/

      Please get in touch if we can assist on a formal basis.

  43. Hi sold a property with my partner (not married nor any kids the profit was sent to my account by solicitors both signed that?s fine. Bought another one and looking to separate does my ex partner have any rights to the money as I am looking to buy another house solely in my name and can she take any of the new property I will be purchasing with that money I will be leaving her the new house and signed over to her many thanks

    1. Dear Geoff, thank you for your comment. As you will have read these types of scenarios can be complex and without knowing more about the background to your circumstances we are unable to provide advice. We would strongly recommend that you seek legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  44. Hi, I have separated from my ex (not married) and i am buying him out as we own the house as joint tenants and are both on the mortgage. We have agreed a buyout figure and i have been approved by the bank/mortgage company that i can borrow the money. The process has started and will hopefully be completed within the next 4-6 weeks to have him removed from the mortgage and the deeds.

    My question is this – once this is all completed will he at some point in the future be able to come back and make another/further claim against the property?. I only ask as my Dad brought it up and was worried that he may come back and ask for more money. I can’t find anything online, i would assume once it’s done it’s done but now he’s got me worried.

    Many thanks
    Sarah

    1. Dear Sarah, thank you for your comment. We would recommend that any agreement you reach with your former partner is recorded in writing and signed by you both. The agreement should be drawn up by a lawyer so as to ensure you are protected going forward and avoid any future claims. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  45. Hi, I have lived with my partner for a few years, it’s my own house my name in soley on the mortgage and I’ve paid all the bills. I’ve recently split with my partner and hes moved out, hes has taken everything out the house as he paid for those items, but now says he’s going to go for half the house, does he have any rights? We aren’t married. He’s never paid into the actual house just contents which he’s taken. We have two children and split the custody I pay maintenance for them. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your comment. As you will have read these situations can be complex and without knowing more about the background and current circumstances it is difficult for us to advise. Your former partner would need to prove that there was a common intention between you that he would have an interest in the property and he has ‘acted to his detriment’ in reliance of this or that he was led to believe by you that he had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this he acted to his detriment.

      In other words he would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property he did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore he expects to receive this capital back now that the relationship breaks down. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old and where you are sharing their care may be relevant as potentially your former partner may be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, for example, for a sum of money which can be used by him to purchase a property to meet the housing needs of the children – this would normally then revert back to you when the youngest child reaches 18.
      However, such applications are very difficult and expensive to argue and generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to meet the housing needs of both of you and the children. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  46. Hi, I jointly own my property with my wife as joint tenants. my wife paid the deposit for the house, and the bills while i paid the mortgage.
    we are splitting and going through the process of financial discussions through mediation.
    My wife is claiming she is entitled to her deposit back. is this correct?

    1. Dear Tom, thank you for your comment. As you are married the way in which the property may be treated/divided is different to the law in relation to property owned by unmarried couples. Whether your wife should receive her deposit back will depend on a number of factors.

      You may find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/length-marriage-divorce/
      https://1gu3xt3qq8id2mr6f51sklsr-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Settling_financial_issues_following_divorce.pdf

      We would recommend that you seek advice from a Resolution lawyer alongside the mediation process. If we can assist please get in touch.

  47. I separated from ex partner 11+ years ago we were not married. We have a child together aged 13. We separated due to domestic violence and harassment. I had a occupancy order to remain in house. He lived in houses for 2 years only and we paid half each deposit. He has not paid a penny towards mortgage since sept 2010. He severed joint tenancy. Do I still have to pay 50/50 equity if I come to sell?

    1. Dear Rebecca, thank you for your comment. As you will have read it will depend on you own the property. From what you have said it appears that you owned the property jointly, originally as joint tenants but are now tenants in common. The presumption is therefore that you and your former partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions or the Occupation Order. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered ? for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case . These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The fact that you have a child together who is under 18 years old, may be relevant if you wish to claim that the property should either be transferred to you or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow you to care for your child. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

  48. I rented a property with my partner, but the contract was in my name. I paid for the rent and the deposit requested aswel. I recently moved out due to issues going on in the relationship and my partner said she still want to be there so I called the landlord and informed him I have let and she is happy to take the property so I will need my deposit back.
    The landlord informed me he has spoken to her and can confirm she is happy to stay in the property, so name on contract will be changed to her name.
    I asked the landlord to pay me back my deposit but he said he can’t pay since we came together as partner eventhough the contract was in my name.
    I told him I will give him 3 months and come for me deposit as I cannot pay a deposit on a property were my name is not on a contract just because we came together.
    Is this right and is he supposed to pay my deposit back to me as my name is no more on the contract.

    1. Dear Desmond, thank you for your comment. This issue does not come under the family law remit. We would recommend that you seek advice from a Civil Litigation lawyer. You will be able to find someone suitable in your area via the Law Society’s website: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  49. My son and his partner are splitting up. The property is in joint names. They have amicably agreed that my son will stay in the property and will buy out the other party and solely take over the mortgage payments. Does the transfer of the property from joint names to a single name require solicitor involvement ?

    1. Dear Carl, thank you for your comment. Your son and his partner will need a conveyancing lawyer to assist them in transferring the property and mortgage. We would also recommend that the agreement reached between them is drawn up in a Separation Agreement which should be prepared by a family lawyer. If we can assist on a formal basis please ask your son to contact us.

  50. My partner and I have lived together for 20 years .. (unmarried) we have 2 children together (21 &13)… the mortgage is my name only and I pay all the mortgage and all the bills.
    Unfortunately, our relationship has broken down and we separating… would she have any rights to the property? And could/can I ask her to leave?.. our youngest daugther, wishes to stay with me.

    Also I have a secured loan on the property and she is named on the secured loan… does this change her rights?

    1. Dear Jay, thank you for your comment. As you will have read there are certain circumstances where your partner may be able to claim an interest in the property. The fact that you have children may also give rise to a potential claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.

      We would recommend that you seek advice from a family law specialist as soon as possible. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-divorce-case-studies-unmarried-vs-married/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/no-such-thing-as-common-law-marriage/

  51. Thank you for the article. Due to my credit file from being a single parent years ago, I cannot be on the mortgage. We both agree that I will contribute 50/50 (as we do during renting) and we both want to sign an agreement between us which states that we both have a 50/50 interest in the home should the relationship end. Would this be binding if drafted by solicitors? Thank you

    1. Dear Ren, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend that your Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement is drafted by an experienced family law specialist. You should also consider having a Declaration of Trust drawn up by a conveyancing lawyer.
      You can read more about these documents here:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

  52. Hiya my neighbour has 2 children one with autism, she has been separated from her ex for over a year he moved out, she lives in the family home that they both own and he hasn’t paid for the mortgage for the last year, or given her money for the children. He now has another partner and baby and wants to sell the family home and is going down the legal route but she doesn’t want to sell. Can he force her out of the home through the court. She knows she won’t get a mortgage on her own with her earnings and doesn’t want to move. Kind regards

    1. Dear Donna, thank you for your comment. It is really important that you friend seeks legal advice from a family law specialist who is a member of Resolution.

      If the property is owned in joint names her former partner is likely to have an interest in the property regardless of the fact he moved out some time ago and has not been paying towards the mortgage. He may be able to force a sale.

      We would strongly recommend that your friend gets advice and then looks at alternatives to court to resolve the issues between them such as mediation. Your friend may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/a-case-study-how-schedule-1-can-assist-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

  53. Dear Donna, thank you for your comment. It is really important that you friend seeks legal advice from a family law specialist who is a member of Resolution. If the property is owned in joint names her former partner is likely to have an interest in the property regardless of the fact he moved out some time ago and has not been paying towards the mortgage. He may be able to force a sale. We would strongly recommend that your friend gets advice and then looks at alternatives to court to resolve the issues between them such as mediation [link]. Your friend may also find these articles helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/a-case-study-how-schedule-1-can-assist-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

  54. Dear Stefano, thank you for your comment. I am afraid that we are unable to provide specific advice within this blog. I would suggest that you immediately obtain a copy of the conveyancing file from when the property was purchased to include a copy of the letter that was signed by your partner’s father. Once you have the file we would recommend that you then seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist on a formal basis once you have the file then please let us know.

  55. Dear Ren, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend that your Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement is drafted by an experienced family law specialist. You should also consider having a Declaration of Trust drawn up by a conveyancing lawyer. You can read more about these documents here: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartners

  56. Hello, I’m separating from my partner, we are not married and have 3 children. The house is in my sole name, however her father helped with the deposit with £ 10K. Her father before buying the property had to speak with a lawyer and signed a paper in which he declares to have no rights over the house. Can my ex-partner throw me out? Also my partner has never worked and has always kept the income from child tax credit for herself, even when I lost my job. What I have suggested is to pay her 10K plus 5K interest for her to leave the house (once she is financially independent) we have only lived here for 3 years, is the reasonable? She wants me to move out, but I wouldn’t be able to pay her mortgage and my rent and bills and council tax for both places. Also my family lives in Italy so I don’t have anyone to go to.

  57. I have been living with my partner for the past 14 years to which the mortgage is in her name. While we have been together I have put in over £35.000 having having a extention and made it open planned with other things. We have not being seeing eye to eye recently. If we end up spitting up have got any rights to the house.

    1. Dear William, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article much will depend on how you own the property. It is not clear but as the mortgage is in your partner’s sole name it would seem to suggest that the property is also owned in her sole name. If you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be.

  58. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend have split up after a year in a partbuy / partrent. Both their names are on the paper work however her parents put in the whole deposit of £75k. The partner has asked for £10k compensation for bills, furnitures, decorating etc as he is moving out and doesn’t get anything back from the mortgage. Even though they have to pickup the bill shortfalls with him gone my in-laws agreed to this as he’s heartbroken and they want it amicable and don’t want any bad blood down the line.

    However the ex-boyfriends dad is a solicitor and has turned round and is asking for £20k as well as refusing to hand over any of the paperwork for the house including deeds and mortgage paper work.

    Where does my sister in law stand as her name is on all paperwork and she will be taking over the house in full

    1. Dear Sam, thank you for getting in touch. There are a number of factors that your sister-in-law should seek advice on from a specialist family lawyer. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum I’m afraid but much will depend on what documentation was drawn up at the time of the purchase, if any. She will need to get advice in relation to the mortgage that is secured against the property e.g. whether her boyfriend is being released from this and also what impact there is on any shared ownership agreement. We would recommend she speaks to a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible.

  59. We are not married and our property is jointly owned by both of us (i assume 50/50)
    When we purchased the property the money was given to us by my partner’s parents, does that make any difference to how much of the property I am entitled to if we sell and separate? We have lived there for 12 years and have both contributed financially to running of the property and we have 3 children.

    1. Dear Helen, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read if the property is owned jointly and in the absence of any express agreement with regard to the shares in which you each own the property, then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old, may be relevant if you wish to claim that the property should either be transferred to you or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow you to care for your children. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartnership

  60. Me and my partner were together for 5 years, we had one child together and got a mortgage solely in his name with the trust that the house would be ours. he advised me not to go onto the mortgage cause of my debt. I sold my car to give money to my ex partner for renovations to the house and had other loans put into my name for things like our kitchen and utilities. We have now split up and he wont give me back any money I put into the house. He has also sold the house which is now sold subject to contract, I have only just made an RX1 application and I have proof that I have put money into the house. But I was wondering if i would be entitled to half as I have acted to my detriment in reliance of this?

    Many thanks

    1. Dear Grace, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read the law surrounding these issues can be complex. We would not be able to advise what your ‘entitlement’ might be without knowing more about the background/history. We would strongly recommend seeking legal advice from a family law specialist urgently in light of the house having been sold. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

      In the meantime you may find this article helpful: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabitation-and-property-unmarried-co-owners-what-documentation-should-you-collate/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartnership

  61. Hi I own a home jointly with my partner, we are not married. we have 2 kids aged 6 and 8, I want to seperate but he won’t leave. If I move out with the kids to rented accommodation will this affect my rights? I’m on low income and hes the main earner and hes been paying the mortgage while ive been the carer and working part time. Things are acrimonious and I’m concerned for the children. What do you advise? Stay or leave?

    1. Dear Grace, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. If you are a joint owner of the property your interest in that property will not be affected if you were to move out of the property. However, we would recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible from a Resolution lawyer as there may be other options available to you particularly given your concerns about the children.

  62. Hi my ex partner and I have a shared property which I have recently paid the mortgage off he hasn’t lived in or paid the mortgage for 7 years we have a 14 year old son. My 30 year old son also lives at home.
    my worry is if die he will then own all the property. would I be able to sign over my share of the house to my boys now so they will have an equal right to the house.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Dear Lesley, thank you for your query. The effect of owning the property as ‘beneficial joint tenants’ is that on the death of either of the joint owners the surviving owner becomes the sole legal owner of the whole property irrespective of any provisions made in their Will. A beneficial joint tenancy can be converted into a ‘tenancy in common’. As you are no longer living with your ex partner it may be advantageous to ‘sever’ the joint tenancy. Such a severance would result in a tenancy in common being created which will ensure that should either of the joint owners die, the surviving owner will not automatically become the sole owner of the whole of the property and their share will pass in accordance with their Will/intestacy rules. It is therefore important to ensure you have an up to date Will in place following the severance of any beneficial joint tenancy.

      We would recommend seeking legal advice on your options from a Resolution lawyer.

  63. Hi, my ex and I were together for 17 years, have 4 children, 2 of which are still under 18 and own a home together. He moved out 3 years ago and said he did not want the house. He asked repeatedly to be taken off the mortgage and I recently was able to get approved to refinance under my name only. He’s upset about back pay child support and now wants to get the house appraised and is asking for 50% of any equity. He has not paid any taxes or insurance, upkeep of the house since he left, is he entitled to this?

    1. Dear Rebecca, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read if the property is owned jointly and in the absence of any express agreement with regard to the shares in which you each own the property, then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old, may be relevant if you wish to claim that the property should either be transferred to you or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow you to care for your children. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartnership

  64. Hi I have lived at my ex partner house for 4 years we have two kids together. We have broken up and he has sold the house we lived in together. He is the sole owner of it, I was a stay at home mom am I entitled to any of the money he got from the sale of the property. He covered all the bills and mortgage as I said I was a stay at home mom

    1. Dear Niki, thank you for getting in touch. We cannot provide advice on individual cases within this forum. However, we would strongly recommend getting advice as quickly as possible from a Resolution lawyer. There may be some options available to you if you are caring for any children but much will depend on a number of factors which are specific to your and your former partner’s financial circumstances. You may also find this article helpful: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/

  65. Hi I own a home jointly with my partner, we are not married. we have 1 kid aged 4. She wants to separate and left the house. I told her I was going to refinance for $28,000, giving her half. She says that’s not enough. She hasn’t contributed any financial help these 5 years that we’ve been together. I feel this is a fair amount but she wants me to sell and split the money.

    1. Dear Francisco, thank you for getting in touch. I am unsure whether you are based in the UK or elsewhere. The law may well be different if you are not living in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. If you are living in this jurisdiction and as you will have read if the property is owned jointly and in the absence of any express agreement with regard to the shares in which you each own the property, then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old, may be relevant if she wishes to claim that the property should either be transferred to her or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow her to care for the children. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartnership

  66. Hi, me any my partner are both 36. We would like to buy a property together, go 50 50 on the deposit and create a joint bank for the monthly mortgage and other payments while living in the property. We are unmarried. I am wondering if one of us wanted to move away or the relationship did not work long term what are the implications? What is the best way that protects us? Thank You

    1. Dear Matthew, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend that you purchase the property as Tenants in Common and that a Declaration of Trust is drawn up by your conveyancing lawyer. In addition to this you should consider entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement. You may find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabitation-awareness-week-2017-family-law-partners-interview-resolution/

  67. Hi My mother passed away who didn’t have a valid will & who wasn’t married to her partner. She contributed heavily towards the house they were living, in particular the mortgage payments for numerous amounts of years (easily 7+ years). The property is owned by her partner and it is stated in his will that she is the main beneficiary. We are trying to manage her estate however her partner is not forthcoming with any belongings or her personal finances.

    Question ~ Do we have any stance is declaring she had a vested interest in the property due to years of mortgage payments. Furthermore We as her estate beneficiaries could request the capital to be paid back or request a share in the property.

    1. Dear Amrit, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to assist you. You will need to seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in Inheritance Act claims. You can find a lawyer in your area via the Law Society’s web site. https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  68. Hello, I bought a house in my sole name 25 years ago and a year later my partner moved in, she had her own house which she then rented. She subsequently sold her house and a few years later we remortgaged my property in both our names to raise money for improvements in my property.

    We lived together for 14 years and then she moved out when we split up due to her starting a new relationship with someone else while still living with me. She carried on helping with some mortgage arrears which were outstanding for a few months and afterwards I once again took up all payments.

    Three years ago, she split up with her partner and began renting a room nearby, her situation wasn’t comfortable so we came to an agreement that she would move back in (not as a couple, just sharers) and contribute to the mortgage and house improvements, the property would then be sold and any profits split in half.

    In the last few months she has been paying for some improvements but went back on her word to pay for all, she now expects me to pay for the rest (not in the original agreement) and is insinuating that she is entitled to more than half the proceeds because of what she has spent. She refuses to take into account that I have lived much longer than her in the house and spent a huge amount of money on it in the past.

    What are my rights in this situation? I have no wish to fight for more than half for myself, I just want the property sold as our relationship as sharers has become untenable and not have anything else to do with her. Unfortunately most of the agreements were done on trust and the only thing in writing is an email in which I outlined my proposal for her to move in temporarily and contribute in exchange for me not disputing splitting the proceeds of a sale in half.

    I’d appreciate advise on how to proceed

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. Your situation is complex and we cannot provide specific advice within this forum. We would recommend that you seek advice from a specialist family and/or property lawyer.

  69. Hi, My Ex and I agreed when we separated (amicably …ish) that DD and I would stay in the house we jointly own (no mortgage) until DD turned 18; I’d then buy out his half, one way or another. I have almost negligible income.
    DD will be 18 next year and my plan is for my father – who has agreed – to buy out Ex and pay for a ground-floor extension to the house for him to live in where he can maintain independance within my care. The best sequence for both me and my dad would be for us to build the extension first and move my dad in, then sell his unoccupied flat and pay off the Ex. My Ex says he won’t allow me to build anything while he is still a co-owner. He wants me to pay him off first. We have no written contract or agreement beyond the title deeds of the house – we’re Joint Tenants I think – and he wouldn’t be paying any of the cost of the extension.
    Does he have the right to control what I do to the house?

    1. Dear Hannah, thank you for getting in touch. We would not recommend that you carry out any work to the property without formally finalising an agreement with your ex first. You should seek legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution to assist you with that.

  70. I bought a property in my name only, my partner has paid for some building works as i was unable to get a mortgage. We are splitting up and he is demanding half of the sale. I would like the amount back i paid for the property, is the remainder to be split or how is it expected to be split? I am so confused as he is telling me all sorts of information i think he is getting from friends and family. I just want to move on but now he is saying i can wait for a year so he can save more!! Would be grateful for any help on this matter

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. As you will have read, if the property is not owned jointly or where there is no Declaration of Trust, your former partner would need to prove that he had an interest in the property and he may be successful if he is able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that he would have an interest in the property and he has acted to his detriment in reliance of this or he was led to believe by you that he had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this he acted to his detriment. In other words he would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property he did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore he expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. I would strongly recommend that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  71. Hi,

    I am separating from my partner. We are not married. We have a daughter and we agree on joint custody (50/50). I own the property (mortgage in my sole name). She hardly paid any bills or anything during our time together. Can I lose my flat for some legal reason?

    1. Dear Christopher, thank you for getting in touch. Thank you for your comment. As you will have read these situations can be complex and without knowing more about the background and current circumstances it is difficult for us to advise. Your former partner would need to prove that there was a common intention between you that she would have an interest in the property and she has ‘acted to his detriment’ in reliance of this or that she was led to believe by you that she had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this she acted to his detriment.

      In other words she would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property she did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore she expects to receive this capital back now that the relationship has broken down. The fact that you have a child together who is under 18 years old and where you are sharing their care may be relevant as potentially your former partner may be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, for example, for a sum of money which can be used by her to purchase a property to meet the housing needs of your daughter – this would normally then revert back to you when your daughter reaches 18.
      However, such applications are very difficult and expensive to argue and generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to meet the housing needs of both of you and your daughter. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  72. Hello  
    This question is based on my 71 year old brother’s current situation and I’d really appreciate it if you could help establish the likely outcome of the break up of his 22 year old relationship with his cohabiting partner (They are not married).
    I’ll try to be brief!
    They met 22 years ago and his lady partner moved into his house 21 years ago .
    My brother fully owned the house (bought for approx £85K) and there has never been a loan or mortgage held on the house (which is worth today approx £200k).
    About 1 year after she moved into his house, he included his partner on the property title deeds.
    Once this had been actioned, his partner then sold her house and she kept 100% of the money from sale of her house.
    His partner has never contributed to the upkeep or maintenance of the property, and contributes a minimal amount to the day to day bills.
    I found  a previous case – Stack v Dowden 2011, which appears to suggest that a court would take into account the partners intentions before deciding what the % split should be.  i.e. it’s not certain that the proceeds from the house will be split 50/50 and in any event, neither party can force the sale of the property. Is that correct?

    My brother now has a life threatening illness, and his 76 year old partner wants to move out of their home, but she wants him to pay her a figure somewhere near £100k
    Many thanks for taking the time to read this and depending on your advice, my brother could indeed be contacting you directly.

    1. Dear Bernie, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article much will depend on how your brother owns the property with his former partner. For example, if the property is owned jointly as ‘joint tenants’ then they will be considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that they each own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon your brother to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  73. Hello,
    Myself and my partner are considering buying a house in near future. We wanted the house to be in my name only, however within the prices we’re are looking for I will not get a mortgage by myself. I did some digging and unfortunately didn’t come up with many concrete answers and thought you may be able to answer it. Is it possible for us to get the house in my name alone, but get a joined mortgage?
    We want to keep my partners name free for future if we decide to move and possibly purchase another home, so in turn he can be the firt time buyer next time.
    I will really appreciate any advice and information.
    Kind Regards 😊

    1. Dear Natalia, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice regarding this issue. You will need to discuss this with your mortgage company/broker and/or your property/conveyancing lawyer. In any event we would strongly advise that you enter into a Declaration of Trust and a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement. You can read more about these here: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together/

  74. Hi, I joint own (50/50) a property with my ex and 4 children. We have had relationship issues which has seen me suffer domestic abuse by her including both mental and physical abuse. Anyway I have told her I want to separate to which she has said that she wants me out now even though we both own ithe propert meaning I have equal rights? She said she will lock (from inside house) me out of the house whenever I leave it even if it’s just to pop to the shop. Is she legally allowed to do this? What are my rights? Also she keeps damaging my work equipment and said she is going to start harassing me when I’m on a work call (I work from home) and basically make my life a misery to basically make me leave… what can I do?

    1. Dear Darren, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend seek advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. As you will have read if the property is owned jointly then you both have a right to occupy the property. There are injunctions that can be obtained from the court to prevent someone from entering a property or behaving in a certain way.

      With regard to whether your wife can change the locks you may find this article helpful: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/can-change-locks-divorce/

      A joint owner can use “reasonable force” to re-enter a property they have been excluded from. However, we strongly recommend seeking legal advice before taking any such steps.

  75. Hi, I have a joint mortgage with my ex. She moved out 2 years ago and has not contributed to the mortgage at all since. I am now selling the property and I am unsure on how the equity should be split. In my eyes, it should be 50/50 but 50% of the mortgage payments she has missed since moving out should be paid to me (or added to my equity). I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere else

    1. Dear Kyle, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. However, whilst it may be possible for you to raise that your ex has not contributed towards the mortgage, she may have a claim against you for what is known as an occupational rent as you have had the benefit of living in the property. We would strongly advise that you obtain legal advice upon this from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  76. My ex partner left the country 10 years ago – It became apparent when he left that he was living a double life and had a family in Jamaica.. Before he left the country he left me in quite a bit of debt. He convinced me we should buy a property together in Jamaica and I agreed and handed over my 25,000 redundancy money. He then wanted more money from the property I use to own with my parents but that remortgage was declined (thank God).. However he ran up a credit card bill, utility bills and began to pay the mortgage as and when he could be bothered. The mortgage is in both names joint 50/50 however he has not paid a penny towards the mortgage for over 5 years.. We have 2 daughters together, age 16 and 13 .He hasn’t really paid any maintenance for the girls and no maintenance at all since he moved out of the country. I last spoke to him over a year ago and asked if he would take his name off the mortgage and he declined. How can I get him removed from the mortgage if he is not paying towards it or maintaining the children?

    1. Dear Juliet, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum and would need to understand more about the history and the current financial circumstances of you and your former partner. We would recommend getting advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible so that your options can be considered in detail.

  77. Hello. Me and my partner broke up. We aren’t married. We lived together in a house that’s solely on his name ( over years living in the house the price estimate grown to nearly £160000) . He paid a mordgage for the whole time we lived together. I couldn’t effort it as I looked after our daughter and always worked in a low paid jobs to fit around my ex partner’s work later on once our daughter was big enough to go to school. We agreed that me and our daughter will move out. I basically start from scratch with no money and he is so well off which really annoys me to be fair. He has really great savings as well which he accumulated whilst in a relationship. He always took care of finances. I was always cut off from the money and on many occasions begged for some. I was wondering if there is any law or any type of help for someone like me? Can I claim any of his wealth? I find this whole situation so unfair. I know I was naive but I realized I was taking the shorter end of a rope for so long. I would appreciate any help or advice on this matter 🙏 Many thanks!

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. I am sure this must be a very worrying time for you. As you will have read these situations can be complex and without knowing more about the background and current circumstances it is difficult for us to advise.. The fact that you have a child together who is under 18 years old and where you are sharing their care may be relevant as potentially you may be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, for example, for a sum of money which can be used by you to purchase a property to meet the housing needs of your daughter – this would normally then revert back to your former partner when your daughter reaches 18. Such applications generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to meet the housing needs of both of you and your daughter. We would recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  78. Hi,
    My ex and I moved into a rented house in May 2016. The tenancy was in my existing name.
    My ex went on to buy the house in June 2017 in their name only, putting down a £40k deposit.
    We have 1 child together, and children from previous relationships, all of whom spend part of their week in the house.
    Since Nov 2017 when our son was born, I’ve evidence of circa £1000-£1400 being paid to my ex by me each month for the house.
    We have now split up and the house is for sale. It’s estimated to have circa £130k of equity, up £90k from when the house was purchased.
    My ex is stating they won’t share the proceeds of the sale, despite me having evidence of paying circa £45k to her for the house over the years.
    What am I entitled to, and what type of order do I need to apply for at court for a judge to consider how the proceeds should be split?

    1. Dear Antony, thank you for your query. As you will have read these situations can be complex and without knowing more about the background and current circumstances it is difficult for us to advise. You would need to prove that there was a common intention between you that you would have an interest in the property and you have ‘acted to your detriment’ in reliance of this or that you were led to believe by your former partner that you had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this you acted to your detriment. In other words you would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore you expect to receive this capital back now that the relationship has broken down. The fact that you have a child together who is under 18 years old and where you are sharing their care may be relevant as potentially you may be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act. However, such applications are very difficult and expensive to argue and generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to meet the housing needs of both of you and your child/ren. We recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible and before embarking on any court applications.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  79. Hi there!
    I was wondering, if the house is left to me by my parents and I am now the sole owner, can a future girlfriend that I allow to live with me, at any point down the line, have a claim on my house?

    1. Dear Gary, thank you for contacting us. It will be important to ensure that the property remains in your sole name only. However, this is a complex area and as you will have read there are ways in which a beneficial interest in a property can be established by someone who is not necessarily the legal owner.

      You should seek legal advice and consider entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement before you move in together. We can assist with this if you would like to get in touch. You can read a little more about cohabitation agreements here: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together

  80. Hi, have a question.
    I got kicked out of the flat that we have mortgage with my wife and after a week she brought another man to live with her. Trying to sell the property now but she and him are making everything very difficult. Threatening me that they will write of £50000 pounds loan that she took without me knowing when we still lived together. When I left I stoped paying for the mortgage because cannot pay for someone else living in my house. Have a few loans my self that I am paying that was taken out together or by me. Is there anyway that person could be removed from the property without permission to come close to the property till it is sold?

  81. My son and his partner bought a property several years ago and are now separating. They both agree they have equal rights to the property and would each would like to buy the other person out. My son cannot afford to do this by himself and we are wondering what the implications would be of us buying out his partner. He is on an apprenticeship at the moment so on an increasing salary and would then hopefully be able to take on the property by himself in the future. Would this best be done by us having joint ownership with him, we also own our own property, or is it possible to do this a family loan. Can you also advise on what the stamp duty would be as he was a first time buyer when he first bought the property.

    1. Dear Tony, thank you for getting in touch. Your family’s circumstances are a little out of our remit and we would therefore recommend that you seek advice from a property lawyer. You can find a property lawyer in your area by searching here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

      If your son needs assistance in relation to the separation from his partner then please do ask him to get in touch with us. From the information you have provided there appears to be a dispute as to who will buy whom out of the property and if that cannot be resolved (as there would need to be consensus between your son and his partner as they are joint owners of the property) then it may be that the property will need to be sold but that is something that we would be able to discuss with your son.

  82. I moved in with my partner 2 years ago as his employment situation changed and I began paying 50% of all costs paid into his account. I was issued with a rent book but this year he remortgaged and added me to that mortgage. Whilst he verbally said that I am now on the mortgage I have not seen anything official to this effect. Who can I ask or where can I look to prove I am on the mortgage

    1. Dear John, thank you for getting in touch. We would suggest that you contact the mortgage company direct to ask. It would seem unlikely that you will have been added to the mortgage without having seen or signed any formal documentation.

  83. My partner is still married and will be applying for a divorce in the coming months. We are looking to buy a place together (cash buyer). The property would be in my name for now and half of the funds for the property would be my partners own money. Would her ex have any claim to our property/her funds put towards the property when divorcing? We were going to setup a trust document to ensure she has something in writing to say half of the property is hers. Would this affect anything? My partner and her ex have already split everything 50/50 apart from a property they own which would be sold in the divorce. Thank you.

    1. Dear Sam, thank you for getting in touch. Your partner should ensure that any financial agreement reached with her former spouse is incorporated into a court order (by consent) which includes a clean break order. A clean break order will mean that all future financial claims that they may have against each other in the future are dismissed and will ensure any future assets are protected. We would also recommend ensuring that you and your new partner enter into a Declaration of Trust detailing the shares which you will each have in the property. You should also consider entering into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement. You may find these blogs helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/the-rise-and-pitfalls-of-the-diy-divorce

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/new-relationships-divorce-need-know-part-one

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together

  84. Hi my unmarried partner and I mortgaged a flat in tenancy in common by 20% to him and 80% to me. But since the deposit was fully paid by him, and he is also paying all mortgage. Once our relationship breakdown, will I still get my 80%? Thank you.

    1. Dear Kim, thank you for getting in touch. A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding agreement, provided that it has been prepared correctly. It is extremely difficult to overturn or change a Declaration of Trust unless all the parties who signed the original document give their consent to the Declaration of Trust being amended or rewritten. If your partner wished to challenge the Declaration of Trust if your relationship were to break down he would need to do so on the grounds of fraud or misrepresentation.

  85. Hi. I have been cohabiting with my partner for just over 4 years and the property is solely in his name. He asked me to look after the property and asked if I could learn how to renovate a house during the first lockdown. Which I did do. I also spent 9 months renovating the upstairs all by myself built a complete new bedroom, wall, ceiling, and a built in wardrobe with a custome made bed which I built from scratch. In good faith that it was for our future. For the both of us so spending my cash on the house was not an issue for me. But as soon as the renovation finished, I was subjected to extream mental torture and even became seriously sick all of a sudden. And waking up with unexplained injuries. On some occasions I attended hospital for my injuries.like waking up with a swollen leg. I confronted my partner when it became obvious what I was being abused. And he became aggressive to the point I had to call the police but I ended up being arrested as I’m black and he is white and English. He claimed I pushed him so therefore a Domestic violence protection order was put in place for him and I was made to stay away from the property during this he contacted me and made it clear he does not intend to have me back at the property. I haven’t been back since the arrest as I’m afraid of being subjected to such trauma once again. Is there anything I can do. Do I have any rights to go back into the property. I have sort help in regard to being a victim to domestic violence but they cannot help with with getting me back in the property

  86. My ex and I bought a flat (shared ownership) just before I had my first child. Due to my low income it had to be in his name but I believed (as did he) I was put on the deeds – I also put down 10k towards the deposit. As we staircased to full
    Ownership / after we split it became clear I wasn’t on the deeds. I continue to live in the property with our now nearly 7 & 8 year old (50/50 custody) and have been here for 8 years.
    he has always promised me my share and have much evidence of that but have faced coercive behaviour bribing me and pressuring me to either move out at times or sell and him having full control over the sale. could you kindly advise where I stand. I have had so much conflicting advise. Many many thanks

    1. Dear Sophia, thank you for getting in touch. I am sure it must be a very worrying time for you. We would recommend seeking advice from a specialist family lawyer as soon as possible so that documentation can be put in place to ensure that your ‘agreed’ interest in the property is protected and to avoid a dispute in the future.

  87. I purchased a house in 2007 jointly with now ex partner we were not married. I moved out the house 2008 following our relationship ended. Ex partner stayed in the house with our 2 dependants and continued to pay the interest only mortgage to date. Her now husband moved into the house 2009 to live, they share a further dependant. Ex partner now wishes to sell the house, am I entitled to a share of the profit once the mortgage is paid on completion of sale? Regards

    1. Dear Adam, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article much will depend on how you own the property. If you own the property jointly as ‘joint tenants’ then you will be considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally and you would be entitled to receive your interest in the property when it is sold. In some circumstances, it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement or course of action between a couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact-specific and can be difficult to establish. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  88. Hi,

    I have a joint property with my mum. It was bought under right to buy. She kicked me out of the house a month before purchase. Afterwards, when she realised I wasn’t going to complete the purchase of the house with her she said that I could move back in. I was also told that I would own the property with her and I would be required to pay money towards the mortgage. After completion of the house sale, she said I cannot move back in because I’m a bad example to her other 2 children under 18. I told her that she needs to sort it out and she made promises to remove my name from the mortgage but kept delaying it.

    As a result I did not make any payments to the mortgage because I was kicked out, lied to and never had the opportunity to pay for the mortgage.

    I have now had to contact the solicitors. My mum has now responded saying that I do not have a share in the property because I was not living at the property a month before completion and I only assisted her with the mortgage which is not true.

    What are my rights to the ownership of the property?
    Also, can the house be sold if dependants are living there if the children’s father supports my mum financially and has multiple properties?

    1. Dear Samantha, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend seeking advice from a specialist lawyer who deals with property disputes. You can find someone in your area by searching on the Law Society’s web site https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  89. I have legal power of attorney for my partner who is currently incarcerated. Can I pursue a legal application for an ‘order of sale’ on his behalf against his ex-partner who currently still jointly owns a property with him and is refusing to sell/move. She has also refused to pay the mortgage and currently has a charging order against her name on the property.

    1. Dear Helen, thank you for your question. Much will depend on the extent of the powers given in the power of attorney document. You should seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in powers of attorney in the first instance.

  90. Can you help please. I bought my house and paid the mortgage off. It is in just my name. My ex still lives in t as he has nowhere to go. The relationship broke down years ago and we do not get on the atmosphere is toxic. He has asked for £10, 000 to leave. I will have to get a loan but am willing to do that for him to go. What do I need to know as I don’t want him coming back for more. Our children are adults and all the bills are in just my name Thank you

    1. Dear Sharon, thank you for getting in touch. You should seek advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as to whether it is appropriate to make a payment to your former partner and what options may be available to you in terms of him vacating the property. We would not advise paying any money to your former partner until you have sought advice. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  91. Hi, so the house I live in with my partner (not married) is solely owned by me. The house is worth nearly £300K. As part of the deposit, said partner contributed £5K to the deposit as a “gift”. We are going through some issues and he is claiming that gives him the right to half of the house. He pays no bills directly, doesn’t contribute to the mortgage etc.. The mortgage is nearly £800 per month, and i pay all the bills including insurance and council tax. He gives me £300 per month. He is not named on the mortgage or the property deeds. Is he entitled to anything other than his initial £5K?

    1. Dear Sarah, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these situations can be complex and without knowing more about the background and current circumstances it is difficult for us to advise. Your former partner would need to prove that there was a common intention between you that he would have an interest in the property and he has ‘acted to his detriment’ in reliance of this or that he was led to believe by you that he had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this he acted to his detriment.
      In other words he would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property he did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore he expects to receive this capital back now that the relationship breaks down.

  92. Hi my elderly mum jointly owns a property with another elderly person. Her house mate is in the process of being placed in a nursing home as they have become very infirm and have dementia Is my mother entitled to sell their property so she can move into more appropriate accommodation and give half of the proceeds to her housemates adult children?

    1. Dear Jeremy, thank you for getting in touch. As a joint owner your mother will need her housemate’s consent to sell the property or the consent of an attorney that has been appointed to make financial decisions on his behalf. In circumstances where your mother’s housemate lacks the capacity to make a decision and sign the relevant papers (due to his dementia), and where he has not appointed an attorney, she is likely to need advice from a lawyer who deals with Court of Protection matters. You will be able to find a suitable lawyer by searching the Law Society’s web site https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  93. Need advice please. Me and my ex split last April and he moved out. We own the house together but since April 2020 I have solely paid for the mortgage. I am in the process of selling the house and we can’t agree on the percentage of equity he should receive. During the time I have lived on my own I have paid for the mortgage myself and also put my own money into the house to increase the value, in my opinion I don’t agree he should benefit in the increase of value when he hasn’t contributed to it. I have offered him 50% of the value of the house at the point he stopped paying into it plus the average house increase of 10% if I hadn’t had touched the house. Just not sure how to get around this or what the calculation is to work out what he is owed.

    Thank you

    1. Dear Lucy, thank you for your comment. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your former partner we would recommend inviting him to attend Mediation in the first instance. This can be done remotely online if necessary. If you wish to speak to one of our Mediators for more information please get in touch.

  94. Hi

    I would appreciate any help with my situation please. I am 30 years old female and my partner a 35 year old male. I own 2 BTL properties and 1 residential all solely in my name. My partner doesn’t own any property and has not contributed financially to any of the above. We both work full time.

    We have no kids together but he has one from a previous relationship who resides predominantly away from my partner.

    We are thinking of living together in my home. I do not intend to marry.

    Should we break up will he have a percent interest in the residential home? And if so what percentage please? Also, will he have claim to my BTL properties and if so what percentage?

    Many thanks for any advice.

  95. Hi. I bought a flat with my girlfriend 10years ago now. I paid the deposit of 15% with my own money and the mortgage is paid between us each month. We bought it I put her name on the mortgage too. Now we are selling will I get my deposit back then the rest will be split 50/50 or will it all have to be slit 50/50 between us?

    1. Dear Ray, thank you for getting in touch. I assume that you and your girlfriend did not enter into an agreement/declaration of trust which took into account your greater contribution to the purchase price at the time that you bought the property. If that is the case and you own the property as joint tenants then the presumption is that you and your partner own the property equally regardless of your unequal financial contributions. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between a couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon you to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this e.g. that it was agreed either at the time or subsequently that your deposit would be returned to you if the property was ever sold. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  96. Hi, is there anything i can do about this…my partner of 9yrs (not married) died of covid 2020 and as her house was in her name and a guy who helped her gain the mort for the house back in 2005 he was only there for a few months after helping her getting the mort,he has had no interest or any kind of dealings with her or the house . i moved into her house in 2011 in 2017 i recieved some inheritance money from my father so I had my partners house double glazed and redecorated and house brickwork repointed in past 5 yrs, but apparently once the house is sold after anything owing has been settled this guy who hasnt put anything into the upkeep since 2005 will get whats left from sale all because the mort company would not take him off the mort .I have been told there is nothing i can do, although we were not married i still believe long term partners should get back what they put into a property
    may recieve some of the estate, is there anyway i can argue the point and recieve what i paid out which helped put value on the house.

  97. Hi
    I co- own (joint tenants) a property with an ex partner, she purchased my beneficial interest in the property 10 years ago when I declared bankruptcy, the house was in negative equity at the time. The house is now being sold am I not entitled to a share of the profit, because of my past bankruptcy?

    Regards

    1. Dear Addy, thank you for getting in touch. We would need to understand a lot more about the circumstances and what documentation etc was put in place at the time your former partner purchased your beneficial interest in the property before we could advise you. We would recommend getting advice from a property litigation lawyer who you can find via the Law Society’s ‘find a solicitor’ link https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  98. My partner and I purchased our house, outright 5 years ago and have a declaration of trust. I contributed 25% of the total value. We have young children, one of which was born since we purchased the house together. Since the birth of our second child, I have predominantly been a stay at home mum to raise our children, at his request. I have worked a little part time on and off. He’s has therefore predominantly paid all the bills for the last 4 years. The relationship has now fallen apart and I’m wondering if I have any right to ask for more than my 25% share to help me put a permanent roof over our childrens heads. I would not be able to afford a mortgage with just my 25% share as the deposit. I’m not being greedy, another 10% would be the difference of being able to afford a mortgage and not! Would I be entitled in anyway due to the children?

    1. Dear Katie, thank you for getting in touch. I am sure this must be a worrying time for you. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old may enable you to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, for a sum of money which can be used by you to purchase a property to meet the housing needs of the children or that the property should either be transferred to you or the sale of the property is deferred to allow you to care for your children – this would normally then revert back to your partner when the youngest child reaches 18. However, such applications are very difficult and expensive to argue and generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to meet the housing needs of both of you and the children. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  99. I brought a house with the proceeds of my previously sold house (which was in my own name). I then moved my girlfriend of 18 months into my new house, mortgage in my own name, deposit paid by me, mortgage and all bills paid by me. I also invested a substantial amount of my own money into renovating the house. My girlfriend contributes to bills by sending me some money each month into my bank account to contribute towards utilities etc, but this has not been consistent. We have now split up after living in the house for 13 months and she is demanding a share of the proceeds of selling the house and won’t move out until I agree to pay her a share of the ‘profit’ of the sale. Where do I stand legally, is she entitled to this? It doesn’t help that she herself is a solicitor and is threatening to make a claim with the land registry to try and prevent me from selling the house unless I agree to paying her a split of the proceeds.

    1. Dear Ben, thank you for your comment. If you and your partner are not married and the property is in your sole name then the starting point is that your partner does not have a right to occupy the property and would need to establish that she has a right of occupation. As you will have read, if the property is not owned jointly or where there is no Declaration of Trust, your partner would need to prove that she had an interest in the property and she may be successful if she is able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that she would have an interest in the property and she has acted to her detriment in reliance of this or she was led to believe by you that she had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this she acted to her detriment. You may find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/

      I would suggest that in the first instance you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. If you would like us to assist on a formal basis then please get in touch.

  100. I am businessman, bought a house three years ago (“the house”) free of mortgage. Soon after I had bought the house, I started cohabiting with my ex-girl frienduntil she moved out last month. She believes, on the basis of what she has done for me, that if she seeks a court order regarding her interest in the house, the court will declare that she is entitled to at least one-half of the equitable interest in it.
    Her reasons include the following: She graduated from a prestigious law school with a first class LLB degree. She was planning to enrol on a PCLL course when she met me, at a party. After dating for a short while, I managed to persuade her to live with him at the flat. I once said to her : “You are the angel of my life. You have made me a very happy man and my only goal in life now is to take care of you forever.” Thereafter, She declined an offer from her law school of a place on its PCLL course as well as an admission scholarship of $200,000.What is her chances of success in obtaining the aforesaid declaration from the court.

    1. Dear Johnny, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. As you will have read, in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, if your ex is able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property she did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore she expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then she may be successful. Your declaration to her that you wished to take care of her forever will not establish an interest in the property for her. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be.

  101. i have split with partner , the mortgage is in her name but all house hold bills council tax/water/gas/electric etc are in mine. Things are amicable at the moment but what right do i have if things turn sour

    1. Dear Scott, thank you for getting in touch. If you and your partner are not married and the property is in your partner’s sole name or where there is no Declaration of Trust, you would need to prove that you had a financial interest in the property and you may be successful in establishing that if you are able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that you would have an interest in the property and you have acted to your detriment in reliance of this or you were led to believe by her that you had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this you acted to your detriment. Paying the utility bills does not provide you with an automatic financial interest in the property. You may find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/

      I would suggest that in the first instance you seek advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  102. Hi, I’m splitting up with my partner – we’ve been co-habiting for 1 year. We both have 2 children (not with each other), so 4 in total. The mortgage is in my sole name, I pay it, along with all the bills and groceries. She basically lives there for free. I have had enough however and I’ve asked her to leave. What right(s) does she have to stay as I can see her being more than difficult. The house has devalued in price since she’s moved in as her and her children have trashed it and I can’t take it anymore.

    1. Dear Doug, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article if you are the sole owner of the property and you are not married your partner does not have an automatic right of occupation. She would need to obtain an order from the court that states she has a right of occupation, known as an Occupation Order.

  103. Hi,
    I have a joint mortgage with my partner. Our relationship has now broken down and she is asking me to move out. I have requested that she “buy me out” but she says that she cannot afford to do this and she is also refusing to put the home on the market.
    What can i do to obtain an amicable solution to this?
    Thank you!

    1. Dear Robbie, thank you for getting in touch. You have mentioned that you have a joint mortgage with your partner and therefore I assume that you own the property in joint names too. If you are unable to reach an agreement then either of you could make a court application for an order for sale. However, court proceedings should be the last resort and we recommend that you invite your partner to attend Mediation in the first instance so that your options can be explored in more detail. You can find a Family Mediator via Resolution. We also offer mediation services so please get in touch if we can assist further. You may find these articles helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/how-we-work/family-mediation/ https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/mediation-myths

  104. My partner died a year ago. We bought a second home in Portugal together five years ago (tenants in common). My partner’s daughters have inherited his share and want to sell the house. I want to keep it because it’s a place we both loved and has many happy memories. I can’t afford to buy them out. Can they force me to sell?

    1. Dear Pauline, thank you for getting in touch. I am very sorry for your loss. Because the property you own is in Portugal we are unable to provide any advice on whether your partner’s daughters can force a sale. We would recommend speaking to a property lawyer who has experience of dealing with foreign property law or you may need to speak to a property lawyer in Portugal. The Law Society may be able to direct you to someone who can assist https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  105. Me and my partner bought a house together and in both our names, I put a big deposit down from my own money to help with the buy, we are now splitting up is she entitled to half including what I put in?

    1. Dear Matt, thank you for getting in touch. Much will depend on how you own the property. For example, if the property is owned jointly as ‘joint tenants’ then you will be considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon you to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. We would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. In the meantime you may find these articles helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabiting-couples-property-rights https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/marriage-v-cohabitation

  106. I own a 31% share in my home and my brother owns a 69% share. We are now selling the property. Regarding fees like; early mortgage repayment, estate agent and solicitors. Do we split these equally or in relation to our stated share?

    1. Dear David, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to advise on specific cases. Much will depend on the terms of any Deed/Declaration of Trust that was entered into between and you and your brother. We would recommend getting advice from a property litigation lawyer https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

  107. Hi. I lived in my now ex-fiancé property, which she solely owns, for a year. I contributed equally to her mortgage. Do I have legal rights to equity equal to what I contributed? Thanks.

    1. Dear Jack, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these issues can be very complex. If you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. It is unlikely that making a contribution to the mortgage alone for a short period of time would be sufficient in acquiring a beneficial interest in the property.

  108. Hi, I lived with my partner in our family home and I also co-owned a rental property with my two brothers in equal one-third shares. The rental property was purchased in cash and financed on behalf of my brothers and myself by our parents.

    My partner and I decided to sell our family home and buy the two-third shares from my brothers, for a sum of £100,000 per third share. When the sale was drawn up, the transferors were my two brothers and me and the transferees were my partner and myself. I had a verbal agreement with my partner that if we were ever to split up, the £100,000 that I already had invested in the property would be returned to me and we would have equal shares in the remainder of the equity. Six years on and we are splitting up. My partner is claiming that she is entitled to half the total equity in the house, ignoring the fact that my parents had invested the original £100,000 for the one-third share of the house, in my name, along with the other two-third shares in my brothers’ names.

    Would she have a case to claim half of the total equity in the house or just half of the two-thirds that we jointly purchased from my two brothers?

    Thanks, in advance,

    Jon

    1. Dear Jon, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these situations can be complex and it is important that you get legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. Much will depend on how you own the property and whether there is any documentation referencing your agreement. Ordinarily, if you purchase as tenants in common we would expect to see something which sets out the shares you each own in the property. If you own it unequal shares then this would be usually be evidenced by a Declaration of Trust document. If there is no evidence that you own the property in unequal shares there will be a presumption that you own it in equal shares e.g. 50/50. You will need to prove that you had a greater interest in the property and you may be successful if you are able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that you would have a greater interest in the property and that you have acted to your detriment in reliance of this, and as such, you expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. I reiterate that you should seek advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible.

  109. I lived with my partner for 12 years and we have 2 children (8 and 6). We are not married. My ex partner bought a house a 3 years ago and he is the sole owner. However he took a loan in which I acted as a guarantor towards the renovation of the house. We worked together on and off for 4 years and I did not receive any wages. Now we are separating. Can I claim a share in the family home? Can I also request a payment towards my working years unpaid?

    1. Dear Sonia, thank you for your comment. We are unable to provide specific advice within this forum. As you will have read if you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property or undertook significant works to it and you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. Also, given that you have children together there may be other options available to you. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such I would recommend you seeking advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible as to what your options may be. You may find these articles helpful
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/a-case-study-how-schedule-1-can-assist-unmarried-parents
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/what-happens-when-it-goes-wrong-for-unmarried-couples

  110. Hi there,

    Great forum with lots of useful information. I’m wondering if you could give me some initial advice prior to opting for some more formal and paid legal services.

    About 18 months ago, I moved into my partner’s owned property and we have been living together since that time. I pay £300 towards the cost of living here, namely her mortgage and the bills. We never really sat down and worked out the numbers accurately, it’s just a figure that we agreed upon. There is no documentation in support of our arrangement (the cause of most disputes I would imagine!) and we have no children together.

    Fast forward to 2022 and our relationship has now broken down and she has asked me to move out by the end of January. I wouldn’t have a problem with that other than the fact that I don’t have the financial means to find a rented property at this time.

    I am therefore wondering about the following.

    • Does my partner have the right to ‘evict’ me and maybe change the locks on the 31st of January making me homeless?

    • Or do I have any rights to stay given the regular payment I am making?

    • The property is in her name but since I am making a contribution towards it (albeit the cost of the mortgage is low) what rights, if any, do I have in relation to the property?

    Thank you.

    1. Dear Martin, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice on specific cases within this forum. As you will have read these issues can be very complex. If you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. It is unlikely that making a contribution of £300 a month for a short period of time would be sufficient in acquiring a beneficial interest in the property. As your partner is the sole owner of the property she is entitled to ask you to leave and is also entitled to change the locks. There are some circumstances in which you may be able to apply for an occupation order through the court to enable you to remain living at the property for a temporary period. You may find this article helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/property-rights-for-unmarried-couples

  111. I moved in with my partner to his house 5.5 years ago – qe lived together in a rented property for 3 years previously. We have a child together and he has 2 children from a previous marriage. I have paid half of all bills, including paying 240 a month towards a mortgage of 490. We are having a bad patch and despite him telling me I was entitled to what I have paid towards the mortgage he is now saying that I am due nothing. We are due to move to a new house together and he is saying that I am contributing nothing as the deposit we have is from remortgaging his house. I am still paying half of everything. Is there a legal way that I can gain what I have paid towards the current house? I can show bank statements showing I have paid monthly towards absolutely every bill 50/50 which includes food for his other 2 children. I also have messages from him agreeing that what I have contributed is mine. I now work part time to care for our daughter one day a week and he has in no way helped. He keeps her one day a week as well but he works a 4 day week and therefore his wages have not been impacted at all.

    1. Dear Ash, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice on specific circumstances and would recommend that you seek legal advice from a Resolution lawyer before you move into your new property with your partner. As you will have read if you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such it is important you get advice as soon as possible.

  112. Hi.
    Me and my partner are joint Tennants. We have split and I’ve moved out. She wants to buy me out. I do not want to sell.

    Can she do anything legally to get me to sell.?

    1. Dear Nic, thank you for getting in touch. Your partner can make an application for an order from the court that the property be sold and in circumstances where you are both owners of the property she is likely to be successful.

  113. Hi, I bought a property which is only in my name and i put all the money into it. My partner and I lived in it for about a year, and I paid all the mortgage etc. We then relocated and rented out the house. We are now splitting up and I’m wondering would she have any entitlement to that house?

    1. Dear Lee. Thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read if your partner is able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property she did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property then she may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. As such it is important you get advice as soon as possible.

  114. Hi, me and my partner are splitting up. i own the property but she put up half of the deposit. i pay the mortgage and all the bills. i dont want to sell the house but i may have to buy somewhere for my self to live . I dont want her them to move out due it being the home of our child. am i able to charge her rent to cover the mortgage and if i was to sell the property in the future or now is she entitled to half?

    1. Dear Julian, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these issues can be very complex and we are unable to provide advice on specific cases within this forum. You have raised a number of different issues that will need to be considered carefully before you make any decisions and we would strongly recommend that you seek legal advice upon them as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  115. Hi, my partner and I are going to move into a property that he bought (through share to buy scheme) and he wants me to help pay part of the monthly rent and contribute to buy some furniture. Although he asks me to sign a document stating I am not owning anything and I am not interested in owning. I haven’t signed anything yet, nor moved into the property. We have a child. What shall I do to protect myself in case we will split and I spent money to contribute to the rent and to the purchase of furniture?

    1. Dear Lisa, thank you for getting in touch. We would strongly recommend getting some legal advice before moving into the property and/or signing any documents. You and your partner may wish to consider entering into a cohabitation/living together agreement which you can read more about here:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabitation-and-separation-what-every-cohabiting-couple-should-know
      and;
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together

  116. My husband is tenants in common with someone with 50/50 equal share. Straight after purchase the person then didn’t want anything to do with the property and agreed for my husband to remove their name from title deeds. They have never contributed anything to the property since purchase in 2008 nor received any rental income from it. My husband has paid for everything including the mortgage payments and claimed all the rental income. Plus paid all the renovation costs too. My husband has started proceedings to remove the person from title deed but now the person is trying to claim the original 50% share. We have witness statements to back up the fact the person forfeited their share back in 2008 and we have evidence to prove all funding was from my husband and nothing from the person. The person never once requested anything or raised any concerns about this. Does my husband have 100% beneficial interest to the property and therefore remove this person or does the person now in a position to claim 50% although never contributed in 14 years?

    1. Dear Hasina, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these types of situations can be complex from a legal perspective. We are unable to provide advice within this forum on specific cases. If your husband has not done so yet it is vital that he seeks legal advice as soon as possible.

  117. i bought my house and put my partner on the deeds so if i died she still had home
    i payed for the house full .
    now we split up she wants me to sell and want half of the sale
    we where unmarried

    1. Dear Mike, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice on specific cases within this forum. As you will have read these issues can be very complex and it is important that you get legal advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible. Unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise the presumption will be that you own the property in equal shares e.g. 50/50. You will need to prove that you had a greater interest in the property and you may be successful if you are able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that you would have a greater interest in the property and that you have acted to your detriment in reliance of this, and as such, you expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. I reiterate that you should seek advice from a Resolution lawyer as soon as possible.

  118. Dear Lisa,
    Some really interesting threads / Topics on here; thank you.
    I’m after a little advice please. Basically I bought an house back in 2006. It was just bought in my name only (I was the purchaser). No declaration of trust. Myself and my partner and children lived there for approximately 5 years or less; however within that time I paid all the mortgage and we went half’s on household bills. She never once offered to pay for repairs or towards the mortgage.
    After this we outgrew the house and moved into 3 further properties. (All rented). I then worked really hard and had three jobs, and I continued to pay my own mortgage and all the maintenance work was completed and paid by myself. My tenants continue to live there to date. She never once spoke about having an interest in my house. She has actually lied !
    Back in 2017 we split up. The agreement was that I would always pay child maintenance and help with other added extras like spending money / holiday money etc. I just have the one dependent now (15 years old). Who I have always paid child Maintainance.
    Today (5 years after we split) I received a random letter from a solicitor requesting that my ex-partner has stated that she has tried negotiating and expressed an interest in my property and that if I don’t respond within 14 days then they will be preparing the necessary application to seek a share in the property under the trusts of land and appointment of trustees act 1996. To add to this ive never had any letters or emails to back up what she told her solicitor and the fact being that she s never once contributed to the mortgage. I wouldn’t mind if I’d been an awful Dad but I’ve not and I’ve always been there and helped my family !
    What is your opinion on this matter and can she claim half my house ?
    Thank you

    1. Dear Daren, thank you for getting in touch. From the very broad information you have provided it is difficult to see where a claim could be made by your former partner. However, it is extremely important that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible as we cannot provide advice on specific cases within this forum.

  119. Hi, I got a 10k loan from my bank without my partner’s knowing about it. I am paying that off. If we apply for a mortgage together will that loan be taken into account and will it affect our eligibility? Should we go for a mortgage under her name only?
    Thanks

    1. Dear Malcolm, this isn’t something we can advise upon. We would recommend that you speak to a financial advisor.

  120. Hi,
    Me and my partner have recently split. We lived in a house which I bought 4 years ago, now we have split she is trying to buy me out however I want to keep the house and I’m wondering what I should offer her? What rights does she have to remuneration? During the 4 years we both paid 50/50 to an interest only mortgage and she also helped pay for a new boiler and paid completely to have the loft part boarded. Should I pay her back the payments she made plus the cost of the boiler and loft boarding? Or just pay for the improvements?

    1. Dear Mike, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice on specific circumstances within this forum. It is important you get legal advice from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible and certainly before any ‘offers’ are made to your partner. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  121. Hi team,

    I am a divorced lady, without children, and a high earner. I bought a rather expensive flat on my own in 2020 (I have a mortgage). In November 2021 I met a gentleman from Mexico who moved to the UK to work, and has a skilled worker visa, and the relationship is blossoming. He is thinking of moving in with me in late Spring without us getting married (we will just cohabit as partners). I won’t allow him to pay “rent” as a lodger or any contributions towards the mortgage or towards my flat. If I only allow him to pay some bills and food expenses, am I risking him getting part of my flat? I am a bit sceptical as he ought to contribute somehow, so if he paid for bills and food without me risking my property, that would be something. How can I protect my property? Thank you.

    1. Dear Maria, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend that you enter into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement before your new partner moves in with you. You can read more about them here:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Family-Law-Partners-Cohabitation-Living-Together-Agreements.pdf

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  122. Hi, I bought a house with my partner in 2010. We are not married and have two children (11 and 13). We are separating. He says he wants to keep the house but he is not willing to talk about it, will not show me any evidence of funds or even agree on an amount. He is not approachable at all. I am desperate to leave but can only do so once I have money from the house (he is very wealthy, I currently have no income as I gave up my career to look after the children, I have just set up a small business and earn very little.). What options do I have to force a sale?

    1. Dear Catherine, thank you for getting in touch. As a joint owner of the property, assuming that you are joint tenants, you have a 50% interest in the property and have the ability to force a sale through court proceedings if necessary although we would always recommend avoiding court if at all possible. The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old means that you may also be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, for example, for a sum of money which can be used by you to purchase a property to meet the housing needs of your children if, for example, your financial resources would not be sufficient – this would normally then revert back to your former partner when your youngest child reaches 18. Such applications generally will only succeed where there are sufficient funds to house your partner, you and the children. We would recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch. You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/unmarried-parents-legal-rights-part-two/

  123. I am soon to move out from my dads house that he currently owns in his name. Mortgage free etc. i am concerned about his girlfriend who I feel will end up moving in once I’m gone. I find she is a money grabber and uses him to pay for things etc. i wanted to know if she lives with him and he makes it clear to me and my brother that she won’t be getting anything from the house if sold etc or dies as it’s in his will everything is split between me and my brother she won’t be entitled to anything. She isn’t a that nice of a person but with their relationship it’s always up and down. I just want to make sure he is protected against anything she claims considering nothing has been contributed by her and probably won’t be once I’ve left.

    1. Dear Alex, thank you for getting in touch. You will appreciate that it is for your father to seek advice and he is entitled to do whatever he likes with his money and property. We always recommend that couples who wish to live together should enter into a Cohabitation/Living Together Agreement before doing so. We also recommend that couples who live together should ensure their Wills are up to date.

  124. Hello, I am unmarried, with no children and have lived with my partner in our ‘jointly owned’ property for 15 years, we have recently completed our mortgage payments. I have left the property to temporarily live with my parents due to my partners controlling behaviour becoming unacceptable (I have not reported this, as I do not want to make the problem worse for myself). I have arranged to rent a flat as staying with my parents long term is not an option. As I will need to pay the bills in my flat rental, I have advised my partner that I can no longer contribute to the remaining household bills (utility, council tax etc.) he has agreed he can pay these, but am I legally obliged to pay them should he ask me to, even though I am no longer living in the house? Also I believe that he will delay the selling of the house for as long as possible, if this goes on for say a period of 6 months or more does he have more rights than me as he has maintained the property for this period? When it comes to the profits from the sale of the house they should be 50/50, but does my situation affect this? Many thanks

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible from a specialist lawyer. If the bills are not in your name and you are no longer residing at the property then you are not required to contribute towards them. If you are a joint owner of the property, absent any other agreement/change of intention, your interest in the property does not automatically change because you have moved out. If your former partner has to spend money maintaining the property prior to its sale then there may need to be an equitable accounting exercise undertaken but we cannot comment on whether this would be successful or indeed whether it would be worthwhile your former partner pursuing this.

  125. Hi, I bought a house with my partner in 2019 and I put in the full 70k deposit with a trust deed to protect this, we have then both been paying the mortgage equally from a joint account. Unfortunately we decided to break up last year and she has since moved out and has been living with her mother. I asked her to stop paying her half of the mortgage when she moved out, as I could cover it all, but she insisted she had to continue doing so, but in December she agreed to stop paying it after some advice given by our mortgage lender. I’m currently going through the process of getting the value of the house sorted so I can buy her out but my question is would it be the value of the house as it is right now or would it be from a) when she initially moved out last year, or, b) from when she stopped paying her half of the mortgage in December? Thank you

    1. Dear Olly, thank you for your comment. As you will appreciate, we cannot provide advice on individual circumstances when replying to blog comments and would suggest that you obtain independent legal advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution. However, generally I would expect the property to be valued as at the date it was being valued rather than historically.

  126. Unmarried with 2 children – house is in my name – all bills paid for by myself.

    If we were to seperate what would she be entitled to as people are telling me she can take everything.

    Thanks for the help

    1. Dear Jay, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read, if the property is not owned jointly or where there is no Declaration of Trust, your partner would need to prove that she had an interest in the property and she may be successful if she is able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that she would have an interest in the property and she has acted to her detriment in reliance of this or she was led to believe by you that she had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this she acted to her detriment. In other words she would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property she did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore she expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down.The fact that you have children together who are under 18 years old, may be relevant if your partner wishes to claim that the property should either be transferred to her or else the sale of the property is deferred to allow her to care for your children. However, such applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act can be difficult and expensive to argue. I recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible.

      You may also find these articles helpful:

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples/

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents/?mh_keyword=%2Bfamily%20%2Blaw%20%2Bpartnership

  127. Hi, I split with my girlfriend. Co owners of the house. Since then she has lived in the house. We agreed to sell, property went on the market. Then she got pregnant with her new boyfriend.

    She took it upon herself without my consent and took the property off the market, her reasoning is that she can’t sell it now as she is on maternity leave and can’t find a mortgage elsewhere. Where do I stand, if we were to take this to the courts? Does she have the right to do this?

    1. Dear Reece, thank you for getting in touch. As a joint owner of the property, assuming that you are joint tenants, you have a 50% interest in the property and have the ability to force a sale through court proceedings if necessary although we would always recommend avoiding court if at all possible. We would recommend that you obtain some independent legal advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  128. Hi,

    I have recently split with my long-term partner of fifteen years. We bought a house together. We have one child. I have moved out and I am currently renting. My ex has a lodger who is paying rent. Am I entitled to this? What else would I be entitled too?

    1. Dear Chris, thank you for your comment. Potentially there may need to be an equitable accounting exercise but we cannot comment on whether this would be successful or indeed whether it would be worthwhile pursuing this. We are unable to comment upon individual circumstances when replying to blog comments. I would suggest that you seek independent legal advice from a family lawyer who is a member of Resolution.

  129. My mother gave her much younger boyfriend several months verbal notice to leave her home at the end of a particular monthThe home is owned by her outright and has been mortgage free for years prior to him moving in 7 years ago..He has never paid for anything ,everyday bills nor any alterations etc Her solicitor has now sent him a letter asking him to vacate immediately but he’s suggesting he won’t be going after all .This is distressing for my mother and she wants him out once the original verbally agreed leaving date has passed .Can she change the locks when he’s out the day after he should have left.?He is also suggesting that due to her age she needs looking after so he’s needed.which isn’t true She wants to avoid cost of possession proceedings and had assumed these weren’t actually necessary ?

    1. Dear MD, thank you for getting in touch. If your mother is the sole legal owner of her property she is entitled to change the locks.

  130. I have split with my partner and the house is owned 50/50 with only a small mortgage left to pay. She has requested that I raise half of the equity for her or sell and split the profit. I want to purchase her half of the equity. However, even though the mortgage and property is in both our names, I have always paid the mortgage and all of the utility bills as I earn more. This has been for the last 15 years. Can this be taken into consideration or do I still have to pay her half the equity even though she has effectively not paid anything in?

    1. Dear Paulie, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article because the property is owned ’50/50′ you will be considered to be joint and equal owners. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example, that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon you to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. Paying a greater share of the bills and mortgage is unlikely to be enough to rebut the legal position that you own the property equally and that your partner is entitled to half the equity/sale proceeds. However, we would recommend seeking legal advice from a specialist. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  131. Hi, glad I came across this forum, very useful!

    About 20 years ago I paid off my mortgage on my home which was my sole ownership. Shortly afterwards I met a guy, we did a pre-nup that my home (and any proceeds thereof) were to go directly to my children if anything happened to me, not to him or his grown up children.

    A year later I sold my home for another of equal value, in my sole name. A few months after that my new spouse became disabled and not able to work. I myself continued to work for a few more years until he became diagnosed with Cancer and more frail so in 2012 I stopped working to become his full time carer. To cut a long story short, the marriage changed we became more friends with separate bedrooms. During the last 5 years the relationship was difficult due to pent up frustrations mainly to do with feeling trapped on both parts. 3 years ago he moved in with one of my children as he could not bear living in the home any longer he wanted to be back near his own family in his city. Subsequently he is in temporary accommodation and waiting to go to sheltered accommodation. During the 17 years he lived with me, he paid £300-£400 monthly towards food, utility bills and council tax. I paid all repairs myself. There was never any mortgage as the home was brought directly from the proceeds of my former house. There are no children together, our own children with other partners are all adults. In 2019 we also signed a separation agreement when he moved out, making no claims on each other we have always been independently financial with own bank accounts.

    I remain his friend and am his Carer (as well as to 2 further members of my family). Any talk of a formal separation or divorce makes him upset and maybe feel scared of being abandoned. I am not in a hurry to do this or interested in meeting anybody. I have done a will which he is aware of and in which I leave all my property and assets to my children, and have indicated that the decision to exclude him from benefitting from my Estate is intentional.

    Is this enough? The prenup, the separation agreement and the Will? Because a friend has told me today that my will is not valid!

    1. Dear Danila, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to comment on individual cases within this forum. We would recommend that you speak to a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution to discuss the issues you raise.

  132. Hello, I am about to be a joint owner of a property with my partner. I am a first time buyer but he is a second time buyer. He was gifted £100,000 to put into the property we are in right now and just sold to move into the next. He has made 101.5k profit from the sale, which will top up our now joint mortgage to our next property which we are in the process of buying. I haven’t been gifted anything, I’ve been earning and saving all of what I have, lucky him and not me right? We are able to get a mortgage together plus the profit of the sale, which I entirely understand is still his money that is aiding in the purchase. We are at the stage where we have to decide if we are to split the property money should something happen fairly 50/50 despite him having more money invested than me, or we split the mortgage we could jointly get minus his equity from the sale of our current property to me, ie he gets all of that plus his split of the sole mortgage part. I am torn between what is best. Sure he owns so much of the mortgage which is the sole reason we could get the property I found for us, but we are on this journey togetherI feel and tbh, I can quit right now and say well neither of us get to move out if we can’t make this fair. It’s not my fault he was gifted money and I’m on my own saving money for our next property, am in a good job where I got him into the same job, which is the sole purpose we can actually move out! Whilst I have never held that against him and I don’t intend to, I think just because he is lucky to have parents and an uncle who could gift him 50k and 50k to put into this flat, which hasn’t been a fun experience and I’ve put a lot of effort into to make it nice, doesn’t mean I didn’t have a say in where we picked to move into together and therefore lived in together for 4 years and therefore I’m not entitled to an equal half despite all of the above. I am torn and I am not able to feel ‘safe’ right now. He has more in this I have so much less but we’re in it together non the less. Without me he hasn’t got the same property we fell in love with and can afford and without him I have even less. I am disappointingly torn.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot provide specific advice within this forum. It is very important that you seek advice before making any decisions. This will ensure that you understand what you are entering into and the consequences of the decision. Please do contact us directly if you would like to arrange an appointment with one of our specialists.

    2. Thank you for your comment. We cannot provide specific advice within this forum. It is very important that you seek advice before making any decisions. This will ensure that you understand what you are entering into and the consequences of the decision.

  133. I have just brought a property I have full ownership my partner has not contributed to it apart from £3000 legal fees. We are on the verge of breaking up. Can he take a stake in my property. We are not married.

    1. Dear Selina, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read, if the property is not owned jointly or where there is no Declaration of Trust, your partner would need to prove that he had an interest in the property and he may be successful if he is able to demonstrate that there was a common intention between you that he would have an interest in the property and he has acted to his detriment in reliance of this or he was led to believe by you that he had a beneficial interest in the property and as a consequence of this he acted to her detriment. In other words he would have to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property he did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property and therefore he expected to receive this capital back if the relationship broke down. Paying legal fees of £3,000 is unlikely to create a beneficial interest in the property absent any specific agreement between you.

  134. Hi i am purchasing a property with my partner. Today we signed the minute of agreement, which details how much deposit we have put in each but Solicitor said today she was solely acting for my partner in this connection and that i had to get someone else to also be a witness for my signature. What does that mean for me if she is solely acting for my partner?! I should seek independent legal advice if i choose to do so.

    1. Dear Kathryn, thank you for getting in touch. I am unclear what is meant by the ‘minute of agreement’. If you are purchasing a property with your partner we would recommend entering into a Declaration of Trust which sets out how you own the property (and will reflect your respective deposits etc). We would also recommend that you enter a Living Together/Cohabitation Agreement. You and your partner will need independent advice in respect of both documents. You may find these articles helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples, https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/we-are-getting-asked-more-about-cohabitation-agreements-by-couples-who-are-moving-in-together

  135. Hi,
    My partner and I purchased a house together just over a year ago. We are joint owners of the house and contribute equally to all house related payments. I made a sizable contribution towards the deposit paid and would like to regain at least a good portion of what I put in. I would like to either sell the house and split the proceeds 50/50 or have my partner buy me out of my stake in the house for a fair price. My partner has suggested that she does not want to sell the house and wants to continue living here. She has threatened to change the locks while I am away from the house. I fear that my partner will never sell the house just so that I do not receive any of the money I invested in the house. The issue is that this area is my partner’s local area and it is not mine. I have no reason to stay living in the property and would like to move on with my life. I have a few questions:
    1. Is there any legal way I can compel the house to be sold even if my partner does not wish to sell?
    2. Is there any way to force my partner to buy me out if she wants to continue living here and I have to move out?
    3. Are there legal protections to stop my partner changing the locks in the house? If I do come back to the house with the locks changed, what should my next steps be?

    1. Dear Shane, thank you for getting in touch. We would recommend seeking advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. You cannot force someone to buy you out but as a joint owner you are entitled to seek an order for sale. With regard to changing locks you may find this article helpful. If we can assist, please do get in touch.

  136. Hello

    I recently split up with my ex. She bought the property (her name on deeds) but I invested my whole substanital pension into it on understanding that it meant i had a share.

    We dont have a Declaration of Trust.

    She now wants to sell house and says I am not entitled to anything. Anything I can do I am gutted

    1. Thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read these issues can be very complex. If you are able to prove that following an injection of capital/cash into the property you did so believing that there was an agreement or understanding that this was in return for a beneficial interest in the property (and therefore you expected to receive this capital back when the relationship broke down) then you may be successful. However, these types of cases are complex and will be very fact specific. We would recommend seeking advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  137. I bought a house with my partner but they left after a year once I fell pregnant with their child. They only contributed to the mortgage and bills for that year, that was 26 years ago. Since then I have paid off the mortgage but he had said he wants £75000 if I want to sell the house. Is he entitled to half of the house or a large lump sum if I sell it despite only contributing for a year and not having paid anything towards the house for 26 years? Sadly his name is still on the deeds as he would only remove remove if I gave him 75,000.

    1. Dear Lucy, thank you for getting in touch. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer as soon as possible. As you will have read these situations and the law surrounding them are complex. It is very important that you get legal advice before making any decisions. At this stage, I do not know whether you entered into a declaration of trust to specify how the property is owned. Much will depend on your specific circumstances at the time of the purchase and subsequently. It is important that you obtain advice so that you are able to consider your options. If we can assist on a formal basis please get in touch.

  138. I living with my partner for 12 years, not married. We have 2 children. I have a flat in my name in Hungary, and my Mother paid a mortgage on it and leave in it. My partner never paid any money in. Can he ask any shear from it if we separate? Also we have a mortgage together and he paid a deposit in, can he ask a amount back what he paid in to a deposit after we sell the property? 10 years after we paying a mortgage together.

    1. Dear Georgia, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to comment on the property in Hungary without knowing more about the background to its purchase etc and would recommend you seek advice from a specialist family lawyer who is a member of Resolution as soon as possible. With regard to the property you own together, I have assumed it is owned in the jurtisidction of England and Wales. As such, much will depend on how you own the property. For example, if the property is owned jointly as ‘joint tenants’ then you will be considered to be joint and equal owners. Therefore, the presumption is that you each own the property equally. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. These claims are fact specific and can be difficult to establish. The onus will be upon your partner to show that a subsequent agreement should be taken into account to demonstrate this. You may find these articles helpful https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/cohabiting-couples-property-rights https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/marriage-v-cohabitation

  139. 6 years ago my ex girlfriend’s parents gifted £75,000 for a property solely in my name. 3 years ago me and ex seperated. She has never contributed to mortgage / utility payments despite involvement from mediation. A declaration of trust was drafted at the beginning but never signed and witnessed

    Am I entitled to take “back dated contribution payments” from the gifted deposit when the property is sold?

    If unable to answer, can you advise which type of solicitor I would need?

    Kind Regards

    1. Dear Jerome, thank you for getting in touch. There is no automatic right to deduct or demand repayment of contributions you consider your former girlfriend should have made. You should seek advice from a specialist family lawyer or property lawyer that deals with trusts of land with regard to your situation generally.

  140. Hello, I purchased a house together with my partner last year, join mortgage 50/50. My partner put more money into the deposit than me and therefore he wanted to protect this and wants to register the property as Tenants in common. We have a draft Declaration of Trust done by the solicitor but we can’t come to an agreement on this as we’ve recently separated. We both wish to keep the property, non of us is willing to relinquish the property to the other and both got the money to purchase the other’s share. The property is still not registered on our names and it is now 8 months after we purchased the house. The solicitor saying that he can not register it until we sign the Declaration of trust. Is this correct please? Also who has the right to stay in the house? I have got our 6 years old son in my day-to-day care. My ex-partner is refusing to leave.

    1. Dear Emily, thank you for getting in touch. We are unable to provide advice on specific cases within this forum. You should get advice as soon as possible from either a specialist family or property litigation lawyer. Neither party will have any more right to stay in the property than the other and where this cannot be agreed the court would like order that the property is sold and the proceeds divided. Potentially you may be able to make a claim under Schedule 1 of the Children Act which you can read more about in the following articles:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/separation-rights-for-cohabiting-couples?mh_keyword=family%20law%20partners

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/financial-rights-for-unmarried-parents?mh_keyword=family%20law%20partners

      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/what-happens-when-it-goes-wrong-for-unmarried-couples?mh_keyword=family%20law%20partners

      We cannot advise on the conveyancing process but we are surprised that the purchase took place without how the property was to be owned being settled. We would suggest that you ask your conveyancer for a complete copy of your file and provide this to whomever you instruct to assist you as our understanding is that if no declaration of trust is signed then the default position will be that the property will be registered in your joint names as ‘tenants in common’ in equal shares.

  141. Hi – My boyfriend I bought a house together with no legal agreement at the purchase.
    We recently split, I am hoping to buy him out of the mortgage, however I unsure how much he is legally entitled to.

    I paid the full £30,000 deposit. He paid no deposit. I paid a further £35,000 in renovation costs.

    My boyfriend only contributed £20,000 towards renovation costs.

    My Grandparents loaned us £30,000 to pay towards renovation costs. Which we still need to pay back.

    The house has gone up in value, and at the new house value price, I estimate around £150,000 in equity in the house.

    We paid equal amounts in mortgage payments and bills 50/50 split for the full duration, and we still are doing.

    What is the law regarding the splitting of the equity? We would likely first need to pay my grandparents back the £30,000 loan, whether that be from the equity, or at worst the house sale.

    Do we get our deposits and/or investments back proportionately to what we put in, and then do we distribute the equity in the same proportion as what we put in the deposits/renovation costs?

    Or is he entitled to 50% of the equity even though he only contributed £20,000?

    Thank you

    1. Dear Kate, thank you for getting in touch. As you will have read in the article if there was no formal agreement with regard to your specific shares in the property then if it is owned in joint names you will be considered to be joint and equal owners and as such you are both entitled to an equal share of the equity in the property. In some circumstances it is possible to show that a subsequent agreement between the couple needs to be considered – for example, that although on the face of it the property is owned equally there is a reason why this is not the case. You should seek legal advice from a specialist and we would also recommend considering Mediation to assist in reaching an agreement as to how the equity should be divided between you.

  142. I read your article – very nice read, and I have a question

    I purchased my house with my ex, she is currently living in the house and we have a verbal agreement on splitting the house etc.

    What I would like to know is in the case of my death, the property ownership will move solely to her. I have a will in place, is this enough or do I need another document to be explicit that the ownership should not go to her?

    I hope that the question is clear?

    Looking forward to your reply

    Thank you

    1. Dear Justin, thank you for getting in touch. If you own the property as ‘joint tenants’ then on your death the property will automatically pass to your former partner. However, if you are separating and have reached an agreement on how the equity in the property will be divided between you then we would recommend that you consider severing the joint tenancy and entering a declaration of trust as well as a separation agreement which clearly sets out the terms of the agreement you have reached. We would recommend that you seek legal advice from a Resolution family lawyer to ensure that your respective interests are protected both now and in the event of either of your deaths.

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