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Thank you all for the advice. The solicitor I spoke to didn't think it was possible and the mortgage company told me to see a solicitor so I am going to try a few more perhaps one who specialises more in this area!
Our online FAQ re changing the ownership details www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/faqs/how-do-i-transfer-my-registered-landproperty will explain what is required from a Land Registration perspective.
If the mortgage lender agrees to the Transfer from 2 to 1 then they are likely to insist on you using a solicitor anyway but seeing how the legal ownership is transferred may be of interest to you and others.
The wider issues as mentioned by familylawmum and Dededum are also important and as they suggest legal advice to cover all the bases is always recommended
Some lenders will agree to a transfer of the legal ownership of the property with the mortgage staying in joint names. You would have to give your partner an indemnity (a promise which is legally binding) to pay the whole of the mortgage and not let it fall into arrears. You first need to ask the lender if they will agree to to a transfer of the legal title into your name. If they say yes, you then need to make sure your ex agrees to accepting your promise to pay the mortgage. A simple separation agreement can be drafted by a solicitor confirming the arrangements and signed as a deed (legally binding) by you both. You will then need to get a conveyancing solicitor to draw up the transfer document transferring the property to your sole name. If your ex is happy not to have any equity from the property, brilliant. If he wants some sort of payout you are going to have to find a way of raising the extra as it is unlikely that he or the mortgage co would agree to further borrowing on the mortgage. If he wants his share out in the future when your child is older for example, this can be done by giving him a charge over the property for a % of the value of the property which reflects the value of his share. This would be registered against the property in the same way as the main mortgage (again you would have to get the lenders agreement to a second charge but most agree as the second charge doesn't get paid until after the lender anyway when the house gets sold). I would suggest talking to your lender, then your ex and then a lawyer. Make sure you instruct a lawyer who is experienced in cohab disputes - for many this is outside of their comfort zone and they only do divorces. Hope this helps.
I assume you are joint tenants, so own the house jointly (assumption of 50% each). That means your liability to pay the mortgage is also joint, so the mortgage company has 2 people to sue if you do not pay the mortgage. Therefore no reason for mortgage company to let your ex off the hook.
In practice I would imagine it depends on how much equity there is in the house and whether you have the income to pay the mortgage. The more equity the more flexible the mortgage company will be.
The presumption of half split can be altered by various things, although am property solicitor haven't practiced for 8 years (hurrah) so can't comment on that.
If you both own the house then he would be legally entitled to half the equity if you sold. If you are in negative equity then he would take half the loss if you sold. My first call would be to get some estate agents to value the house.
My partner and I split 7 months ago and he went abroad for 3 months leaving the house in joint names. He has now returned and kicking up a fuss as I have a new boyfriend. He says he doesn't want the house and is staying with a friend. However he has a history of losing jobs and both of us would prefer that I took over ownership. Me because I'm sick of the "it's my house too, you can't have so and so in it" and him because he can't claim housing benefit while he owns property. I've had a bit of harassment from him but I don't want to go as far as occupancy/non-molestation because he is a good dad. However I can't remortgage in my name only as I don't earn enough even though I've been paying the mortgage on my own for a year. Is there any way I can get the deeds in my name only while he remains on the mortgage. I asked the mortgage company who told me to speak to a solicitor and the solicitor said ask the mortgage company if they will agree???!!!
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