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Has he still got a claim to the house after moving out?

(9 Posts)
BearsEverywhere Wed 12-Nov-14 14:17:02

Could anyone help clarify the situation for a friend of mine, please?

He and his ex (they weren't married) split up two years ago. She stayed in the family home with the DC, and he's been renting a flat ever since. The plan was that when their DC left home (which is likely to be in about 5 years' time) they'd sell the family home and split the proceeds between them.

However, nothing was put in writing, and recently he's been getting worried that because he moved out, he may have put himself in a dodgy situation legally and may not have a claim to the house any more.

Does anyone know the legal situation here? Is there any way his ex could sell the house at some point in the future without giving him approx 50% of the proceeds? Or is there no way she'd be allowed to do this? Does he need legal advice?

If anyone could help, it would be much appreciated - thanks.

wonkylegs Wed 12-Nov-14 14:33:43

It would probably depend whose name the deeds are in.

BearsEverywhere Wed 12-Nov-14 14:41:24

Thanks - I'll check that with him.

micah Wed 12-Nov-14 14:50:21

Get legal advice.

Our experience was that the ex argued she couldn't afford to sell and re-house herself and the dc after giving dh his share. As dh had moved out and had somewhere to live she was given the house in its entirety. They were married and had a joint mortgage.

I have known couples split and sell the house/buy the other out once the dc have reached 18. But it was all in writing. The problem seems to be if a new partner moves in and starts contributing to the mortgage.

If he feels he has a right to a share of the house, which he may regardless of whether his name is on the deeds/mortgage, it needs agreeing legally. So yes. Solicitor asap.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 12-Nov-14 14:55:35

He's still paying his share of the mortgage though?

BearsEverywhere Wed 12-Nov-14 15:09:22

Thanks for the replies. Laurie, he's paying his ex each month, but apparently it's unspecified what it's actually for - it's just a general amount for everything (including maintenance for DC). Should he be paying a set amount towards the mortgate each month even though he's not living there?

Micah, apparently that was the agreement - that the house would be sold when the DC were 18. They obviously should have put it in writing at the time - I have no idea why they didn't. I'll advise him to see a solicitor - thanks.

HeadDoctor Wed 12-Nov-14 15:12:53

If he was paying half the mortgage then technically his ex should be paying "rent" on "his half" of the house.

STIDW Wed 12-Nov-14 15:32:36

There is no substitute for professional legal advice. The law is different depending upon whether someone is married or not. If your friend wasn't married the starting point is ownership under property law rather than sharing assets according to divorce law.

Ownership of property is determined by the name(s) on the property deeds. Therefore he may not be entitled to anything if the deeds are held solely in his partner's name. If the property is held in joint names it is normally assumed each party has an equal 50% interest in the property. There are also tax implications if the property is held in joint names. Capital gains tax relief on someone's main private residence ends after they move out.

BearsEverywhere Fri 14-Nov-14 10:23:23

Thanks once again for the replies. I really appreciate you all taking the time to help.

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