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Obnoxious 'Tenant in Common' - property question

(6 Posts)
wetfoot Thu 01-Sep-11 03:01:34

I've changed my name for this - unlikely as it is he'll be on Mumsnet. I own a property, as Tenant in Common, with 'someone else'. Neither of us live in it. He owns a greater share than me. He wants to buy me out, and because of his behaviour I want out too. He has (allegedly) spent money and done work on the place (he's not the only one) without consultation or my agreement, in fact, against my wishes. We don't have a Treaty of Agreement (or whatever it's called) laying out who should own what in such circumstances. However, he wants to deduct the money (a lot! And is threatening me with legal action)^ he says^ he's spent from the price he's offering.
My question is, (I know either party can 'force a sale', expensively, and through the courts), but can he force me to sell to him? And am I obliged to accept the price he's offering? Also, if I agree to bear my share of the cost of the work (in spite of never agreeing to it in the first place), am I not also entitled to a share of the (supposed) increase in value? It seems to me, at this rate he could go on spending money and end up demanding my entire share to pay for it. Any thoughts welcome.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 01-Sep-11 03:45:15

I don't practice property law in England, but it's very similar to where I do practise, so please don't take this as gospel but it should be on the right track.

No, he can't force you to sell to him and certainly not at the price he's offering. What he can do is demand that the property is sold on the open market. You might be able to come to an agreement that you sell to him on the basis of an agreed-upon valuation. You're absolutely right that the property value should benefit you if you're paying for it - it would be crazy if he was offering you your original purchase price minus the money he's spent on the property as a whole, to date.

With regards to the money spent on the property, I think you're really best off seeing a solicitor, because you're getting into constructive trust issues there. He might claim that the money spent means that some of your share belongs to him in equity, given that he's put more into it. Etc. It's ugly.

Gonzo33 Fri 02-Sep-11 06:29:01

I agree with Tortoiseonthehalfshell and you do definately need to have a chat with a solicitor here

Collaborate Fri 02-Sep-11 11:36:57

Just one correction - under the Trust of Land an Appointment of Trustees Act the court can order you to transfer your interest to him, or a sale on the open market. You do though get the benefit of any increase in the value of the property caused by the works that you are having to pay half of.

sneezecakesmum Sat 03-Sep-11 13:58:20

He can't force you to sell without taking you to court. Ideally seek mediation as property issues are fairly straightforward, but if there is no agreement (and he sounds an awkward customer) then he has to initiate court proceedings to settle the matter. Your solicitor will look at the whole issue as you present it and both of you will need to provide evidence to the court on the division of the property, taking into account all the factors you mention. The court will look at both cases and make a decision from there. They can order a valuation on the current property value and depending on the courts division order eg 60/40, the sale can be forced or he can buy you out of your share. Don't be bullied into accepting his word on what your rights are, see a solicitor. It doesnt matter if you sell to him or the house is sold provided the price is the one given by an independent surveyor. Estate agents valuations are easily 'talked down' by the person showing the house so go with the surveyor (learnt the hard way!!)

wetfoot Wed 31-Oct-12 12:29:27

Hi again - well, the saga goes on and the property recently went to public auction. It turns out the the 'other party' (see first message) bought it with his solicitor doing the bidding, much to my surprise as, in spite of having spoken to him at some length just the day before, he gave no indication whatsoever of his intentions. Tbh, I'm ecstatic to be rid of the slimy crook but I wonder if anyone knows whether bidding on your own property is actually legal. I suppose it must be but I know it's illegal to 'shill bid' in order to artificially raise a price on your own item - well it is on eBay. In this case, of course, he wouldn't have wanted to raise the price but it might explain why he volunteered to actually be there while viewing was taking place, in the weeks prior to the auction. I'm suggesting he would have highlighted all the negative points to any interested buyer in order to put off the competition. Would this have been a 'conflict of interest'? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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