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Help with my house

(13 Posts)
izziewizzie Fri 10-May-13 19:40:47

Ex went abroad and pays no maintenance for our dd (no REMO case either)
Nor does he pay the mortgage etc on our joint house.
I was in financial troubles when I met my current partner, and consequently I moved in with him and one of my family stayed in the house.
Ex found out and told our mortgage company. I made them aware it was family and they were fine. Ex did however turn up a couple of times demanding keys and access.

Now, they need to leave and I am in a position where I have another child and we can't all fit in to the house. It needs to be let because I can't finance "our" child and pay the council tax and mortgage on an empty home. Moving back in is not an option.

Myself and partner have made suggestions to ex that he agrees a consent to let and I manage the property and keep any excess as maintenance. Ex refused
We then asked that myself and partner take the property on, and he takes no money instead of paying maintenance. And i will not persue him in the future ( have offered to get an agreement drawn up)Again ex refused.
I now have a situation where he won't let me have the property unless I pay him a lump sum AND cancel all CSA action against him ( currently on the way to a second tribunal and have a variation in against him) he won't agree to it being let, but he won't pay any mortgage or upkeep either.
I would like me and my partner to take it on, and we could do it quite quickly, but he wants cash and maintenance arrears written off before he will do any of this.
I know I can force a sale through court, but I am wondering if there is any way I can force the issue of letting it and/or my partner and I having it.
I can guarantee if it sits empty he will not contribute.
His determination not to pay a penny to his child will see him allow the place to be repossessed, or me driven to extreme financial difficulties.

I know people may feel that I should pay him off, but I have financed my dd by myself since he left and he skips from job to job abroad on 50k tax free a year. He doesn't need the money, and I can't swallow paying him many thousands ( he will want half the equity) when he has left us to get into this financial mess. I have also done repairs to the property that came around from me having no income to look after the place.

Do I have ANY options here?

MrsBertBibby Fri 10-May-13 20:42:36

Were/are you married to him?

izziewizzie Fri 10-May-13 20:54:50

No I wasn't.

MrsBertBibby Fri 10-May-13 21:46:28

I don't think you have many options about forcing him to let you rent it out. You can of course rent it out, (I believe one joint owner letting a property binds the other) but the sticking point may be the lender, who may not agree to a let if the other borrower doesn't sign up.

If however you wanted to sell the house and hang on to the equity, to buy somewhere for you and kids, you might be able to bring a claim under Schedule 1 Children Act. That would only let you hang on to his share until the child that's his reaches 18, then "his" share would have to go back to him.

If there are genuine CSA arrears, however, I see no reason to stop those being handed to you out of his share of the proceeds of sale, even if he gets his share of the equity, and if you've been repaying the mortgage capital (ie not interest only), you should be able to get recognition for that (equitable accounting). That might help with repairs to the property, depending on their nature.

This doesn't sound as if it's going to be able to be sorted without Court involvement, though. You need a solicitor. Joint property for unmarried couples is an absolute nightmare, I'm afraid. Why Government won't legislate is beyond me, but they wont, and haven't, for bloody decades.

izziewizzie Fri 10-May-13 22:37:27

Thank you for that.

Currently the CSA haven't managed to assess him as he refuses to give income details, however I have managed to get some income details (hence the variation going in) and if they refuse that I will appeal again.

Although it is a huge risk I can't tell the bank. They will refuse consent to let without his permission, and he won't give it.

Currently I only pay the interest on the mortgage. Would I be better served to do a bit of lump sum paying to reduce the capital? I have avoided doing that as if I reduce it and he goes for equity then I've just increased what he has available to him.

I don't mind if I only keep it until dd is 18 as that's plenty of time for things to change. If I could keep it and rent it then where dd is concerned it would remove a lot of financial worries.

Dd is on full DLA, and has been the reason my income has reduced.

It's also one of the reasons my ex left us, which is off point, but a very sore point hmm

RedHelenB Sat 11-May-13 05:16:23

I would crack on with a sale personally because otherwise you will end up with nothing. If your ex is determined to spite you he will. How much equity are we talking about? Could your ex afford to write it off?

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 09:41:56

The problem is that if you were to apply under the Children Act, you have to show you're using "his" share to benefit your daughter. I think you'd be more likely to succeed if you were putting the money towards a home for you & your daughter, rather than just retaining an investment asset.

I think a court will be tremendously sympathetic to you, but they can only stretch the law so far.

Repaying the mortgage ought to be credited back to you, but that means getting all the way to a trial. Frankly, you're probably better putting anything you can spare into a fighting fund. Or just spending it on living.

I think the longer you let this go on, though, the more desperately unfair it is is going to feel.

I fear you need to bite the bullet and get this into court. And I would really suggest you get a lawyer to help draft the initial paperwork, even if you cant' afford to get them to represent you in court.

izziewizzie Sat 11-May-13 10:17:30

So would you just go for an Order for sale then?

What kind of percentage would I be likely to get and would the court deal with that? Ex has in past discussions insisted he must have his 50% as "that is what he is entitled to". He has no concerns for dds welfare and will take as much as he can.

Obviously he has not maintained her or the house, and I would need a reasonable sum to get somewhere else.

Tbh we are probably only talking about 20k maximum equity in the house, and the boiler went last year costing me 3k, so it's not a house that will produce a lot of money.

I hold on to it because my partner owns the house we are in, and after my ex I don't trust any man to do right by me and the children in the event of a split. The house is my one small bit of security I have for them, and somewhere we have if we had to leave (that's not a reflection on my relationship, but my ex promised all sorts and has just gone out of his way to destroy me financially and it teaches you not to trust anyone's promises again)

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 10:25:33

Not necessarily to get an order for sale, no. To get some rules!

I'd suggest applications under both Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act, and under Schedule 1 Children Act. It's completely standard practice to run these applications together, as the Court has slightly different powers under the two acts, so would need both applications to use all their powers. The Court can order a sale now, or a deferred sale, and can order what shares you will get (either now or in the future), and how any additional expenditure might be compensated (eg if you'd been reducing the mortgage capital, giving you extra credit for that, or indeed the new boiler you paid for.) The S1 application would allow the court to order a sale, and yo receiving the cash, (on trust as to "his" share until your daughter is 18) for stated purposes (like buying a house).

Does your current partner own the house, or is there a mortgage? If your house were sold, you could use the equity to reduce the mortgage (obv on the basis your name goes on the title) so that you have an interest in the current home, the mortgage is smaller, and you have some security.

You really need to see a solicitor to get proper advice on all this, though (and your current partner could do with his own advice, to make sure you don't get yourselves into an even bigger mess if everything goes wrong.)

izziewizzie Sat 11-May-13 10:30:10

And in the meantime I have no choice but to rent the house out. I can't finance it myself.

If he reports me to the bank again I'll have to take the chance and hope they just increase the rate than try to repossess it.

Unfortunately I'm in a rock and a hard place, and even if I get an order for sale, when we split and it was on the market it sat there for a year. So it may sit there that long again.

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-May-13 10:37:11

You are in a bit of a bind, I agree!

Arguably, the court could compel him as a trustee (you hold the house as trustees because it's jointly owned) to agree to the application for permission to the lender.

izziewizzie Mon 13-May-13 14:33:18

Do you think there would be any chance of that?

I don't want to stitch him up, or prolong things. I just want some form of income for my dd, to replace what he fails to give her, and some security for her if something happens to me. Her dad would never step up to the mark, he hasn't seen her in nearly 4 years now.

MrsBertBibby Mon 13-May-13 18:40:34

Well, the Court under TOLATA has the discretion to do quite a bit in terms of directing the trustees in what they can & can't do.

The question for me would be whether the court would be happy leaving the property as an investment property. under TOLATA, the court is meant to consider the purposes for which the trust was set up (providing a home for the family) and the extent to which that can still be discharged (so providing a home for you & the kids, but not him.)

Of course keeping the house to provide an income is a step away from that initial purpose. The question might be whether the combination of the Schedule 1 application and the TOLATA application would be enough.

THe court is going to be more comfortable either ordering a sale now & division, a sale later with you & kids staying in the house, or a sale now and using the money to buy a home or to put towards a home, as outlined above (with his share going back to him in the future,)

But, arguably, I don't see why a Court couldn't make him do it.

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