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Court in 3 days time!(27 Posts)
My application under TOTLA to try and force the sale of the jointly owned ex family home is finally being heard in a few days time. I have been waiting months already, was due to be heard next month but have managed to get it bought forward.
Anyway, I paid a solicitor to file the application but I can't afford to pay one to represent me, so I'm going to represent myself. Any help/advice or tips would be great. Apologies to those who have already heard this..
In short. Ex and I were not married, purchased property together as family home. Both on deeds both on mortgage. He moved out (his choice) and dumped me with full mortgage repayments which I couldn't afford. I was desperate to sell to free myself from the mortgage. He refused to communicate about it, ignored my letters and solicitors communication, refused to mediation to discuss a resolution, refused to pay a penny knowing I was struggling. Eventually (over 18 months later) I had to move out as couldn't afford the repayments. He carried on refusing to pay or discuss any resolution, so it stood empty with no mortgage being paid. Repossession proceedings kicked in and then he decided he wanted to live there. His sister paid a lump sum to clear the mortgage arrears and he has moved in (3 weeks ago ish).
Whilst it was empty I redecorated and did some minor repairs. Had valuations done and it should be about 10k in equity. Not a lot but it's something. He wants to remain living there and I want it sold.
The issue is with have 2 children, shared residency 50/50 exactly and a Shared Residency Order to reflect this. He is claiming to sell the property will make the children homeless (every other week of course, they still have their home with me) and therefore he is using the Children's Act to try and prevent sale until the youngest is 18 - AGES!
He is a financial screw up and always has been. I can see him abandoning the property and some point and dumping me with it again. He had just changed his job and taken a huge pay cut (he told me this) and I don't think he can afford the mortgage long term without hand outs from family. It's interest only and he wouldn't be able to afford repayment form his salary, so nothing will be paid off at all. PLus when interest rates rise (I believe they are due to next year or so) he would struggle.
I don't want to own a property with him, I wants to be free of this financial tie and the constant worry/stress that he will not pay mortgage and the implications it will have for me. He won't buy me out or ask someone to buy me out on his behalf, I think he likes it that it is very worrying for me to be tied to him this way.
Anyone tell me what they think my chances are of forcing sale? The children have another home, he could easily rent someone for the same-ish price of the mortgage, they children have only "lived" there for 3 weeks so not a long term permanent home for them. He'd get approx 5k (1/2 the small equity) so would have money for a deposit and a few months rent on top of moving costs etc.
I think (but I am not a lawyer) that you should come at it from a slightly different angle e.g.
The house should be sold because
1. The house is not the children's habitual home, and the evidence of this is
a) they only moved in there X weeks ago, after a 2 year absence
b) they spend 50% of nights at your house, which is now their habitual home
c) any other reason (all taken from the info on your list)
2. There are outstanding debts which both parties are responsible for paying, and the equity released by sale will allow this to happen, and for a clean financial break to be made
3. There is doubt that X has ability to afford the continuing mortgage payments because:
a) he previously almost defaulted, and only retained the house through a last minute payment from a family member
b) he has asked you to increase the mortgage length
c) you believe that his earnings have recently decreased
4. Mortgage payments are higher than suitable rents in the area, and therefore he would still be able to provide a 50% home for the children
You need to give evidence (e.g. dates, times, letters, emails etc. for everything on the lists, and for the debts, expected amount of equity release, current mortgage payments and local rents)
I wouldn't go into the details of him wanting to own rather than rent - that's neither here nor there (just shows that he's a twunt)
As I say, I'm not a lawyer, but this is a bit more clinical, IYSWIM
Actually I think all your points are valid and worth making. This is not 'telling tales' - these are persuasive points supporting an argument. The only bit I would leave out is the bit about him rejecting social housing - the key point is that he would not be homeless because he can rehouse for the same money by renting.
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