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Property/Mortgage/Forcing Sale Against EX Partners wishes...

(3 Posts)
sarahsmith150 Fri 15-Feb-13 23:42:34

I would really appreciate some advice as a good friend of mine is in a sticky situation and needs some help (he will see a solicitor asap but isn't particularly well off at the moment so any advice would be great)

Friend and his ex own a property with a mortgage and have 3 children (all under 10). His ex left him and the children and has now set up permanent home (rented) nearby. They share care of the children equally between both homes.

The plan was for him to remain temporarily and then to sell the property as soon as possible, but since moving out she has refused to discuss the property or any future plans for it, despite knowing he can't afford the mortgage on his own - the very reason she didn't want to live there and let him move out. He has has written to his ex a number of times, formal letters trying to discuss, offering mediation etc, all ignored. He's been paying the mortgage (struggling) for 2 years and she hasn't paid a penny or shown any interest in resolving the property. Actually she text him about it once saying she doesn't want to sell it as it's negative equity (around 30k) and will only let him sell it if he agrees to pay all legal and selling fees and make up the shortfall (30K) which is ludicrous to him as she literally thinks she can walk away and dump him with the stress of this massive debt!

He has now had enough and moved out. He is no longer paying the mortgage and wants to apply to court to force the sale (TOTLA I believe he said it was or something similar) he is making the application (himself) next week.

Problem is, EX has now been made redundant. She is saying as the property is empty she is moving back in and he is worried once she gets back in there she will use the fact it is the kids home (half the week) to block the sale. She has no income and he is worried that despite her living there and not working he will be liable to pay the mortgage as he is employed.

Can anyone offer some reassurance? I've said to him surely he won't be expected to pay for the mortgage for a property he has tried to sell for 2 years just because she has decided to move in there now she's lost her job and knowingly do so knowing she can't pay the mortgage?

Secondly, would she be able to use the "childrens act" once she is in there to stop him selling the property? They have shared residency so it would be the kids home half the week, but she already has a home and would be voluntarily giving that up (she has to pay rent there) for the home she thinks she can live in at my friend's expense.

He is making himself ill worrying about it all as IF he had to pay the mortgage whilst she lived there FREE he wouldn't be able to afford rent on his new (much smaller and cheaper) place and would have to let her have the children full time (maybe she has considered that?).

Any advice?

Xenia Sat 16-Feb-13 13:33:28

Poor him. Could he let the house for a few years perhaps until it moves out of negative equity - that might be better for both of them and the rent might cover the mortgage.

Yes she might be able to stop him selling as children need to be housed but only if the mortgage can be afforded.

I presume they are not married which makes a huge difference to their positions on separation.
Are the children with each of them half the week?

Which of them earns the most?

sarahsmith150 Sat 16-Feb-13 15:37:21

Thank you for the reply Xenia.

He has proposed to his ex that they rent it out, he had valuations from various estate agents a few months back but the rental income is much less than the mortgage rate and so will require them to "top up" the rent to pay the mortgage. She has refused to do this, and refused to pay any costs to decorate it to rental or sale standard or any legal or estate agents fees. She really has dumped him with it.

The thing about the children needing to be housed is that she has a perfectly good home for them now (has been living there 2 years) but as she has been made redundant is threatening to move back to the jointly owned property in the hope that she may be able to force him to pay the mortgage for her to live there free. She will be moving there knowing she cannot pay anything towards the mortgage as she has no income.

They were not married, just cohabiting partners. The children spend 3 days with him 4 days with her one week and 4 days with him and 3 days with her the next, alternating so they each have the children 50% of the time over each fortnight.

Now she has been made redundant she earns nothing. he earns a good wage but not huge, 35k I think ish.

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