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How to block sale of a joint asset?

(15 Posts)
Catsfriend Mon 14-Oct-19 22:42:59

Hi, name-changed for this post.

My friend’s ex-husband is trying to sell of a joint asset (flat). He has contacted an estate agent who has listed it.

They are divorced under the laws of an EU country, where the judge ruled that all their assets were joint assets.

Should my friend contact a UK lawyer to block this sale or the estate agent to explain that this asset cannot be sold under the divorce settlement?

Her lawyer in said EU country told her that UK lawyers won’t accept a case without a 20K provision?
Is this correct?

Thanks for your input.
I have advised her to contact a UK lawyer in the morning but obviously she is a bit worried about the cost.

OP’s posts: |
Catsfriend Mon 14-Oct-19 22:50:52

Sell off, not of, obviously. confused

OP’s posts: |
cabbageking Mon 14-Oct-19 23:34:01

I would check with land registry that she is named. If not register an interest in the house

I would contact the estate agent to confirm they have the correct details for your friend and go on the premise that everything is fine but arrangements to sign paperwork will be needed. I assume she is happy for the sale to go ahead but wants her share? Keep the estate agent sweet and get the info she needs about the solicitor etc. If she has an interest in the house the solicitor needs bank details to pay the funds into along with papers to sign.
Ask both to send copies of all offers etc to your friend.

Catsfriend Mon 14-Oct-19 23:38:55


Thanks! Can she register an interest from abroad? She was told anything involving the land registry is quite complicated. And that she needs to have a lawyer do this on her behalf.

She happened to find out by chance that the apartment was listed. He is obviously trying to do this behind her back. Why would the estate agent agree to sending her the documents? Because of her interest:the land registry?

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VanGoghsDog Mon 14-Oct-19 23:43:51

Can she register an interest from abroad? She was told anything involving the land registry is quite complicated. And that she needs to have a lawyer do this on her behalf.

I can't imagine why she couldn't do it from abroad. And it's not very complicated, she could do it herself. She could call the land registry and ask them how to do it, I'm sure they'd be able to advise and there's probably a form!

Lawyers don't require £20k upfront. For something as small as this they might ask for £500.

cabbageking Tue 15-Oct-19 00:10:13

She just needs the correct form to register an interest.
She can check the register herself for under a tenner.
The land registry site will direct her to the right paperwork.
Anyone can check who owns any house and who the mortgage is with for under £10.

Collaborate Tue 15-Oct-19 07:37:50

There's not enough information in your OP, and your friend should really be taking advice from her own foreign lawyer about whether the order she has is recognised by the courts here. It should be - does it require registration? She'll need to take steps at the land registry but the way for her to find out what to do is to get direct legal advice, not to get a friend in another country to ask an anonymous internet message board.

Catsfriend Tue 15-Oct-19 08:45:45

I understand that. But her foreign lawyer suggested the 20k provision, stating no UK lawyer would take on the case. I was certain that the amount was much lower but wanted to check and also thought that the land registry was the way to go.
Her lawyer seems woefully uninformed and I have suggested to her that she contacts a UK lawyer this morning to discuss her options before the flat is sold and establish her rights. Given that Brexit is only two weeks away, this also means that all legal provisions will change on 31 October, I assume.

Thank you all for your suggestions. They only confirm what I have already told her.

OP’s posts: |
Collaborate Tue 15-Oct-19 09:12:25

Can you explain what a £20k provision is?

Catsfriend Tue 15-Oct-19 11:45:48

Apparently her lawyer thinks she must pay 20K up front? I’ve never heard of such a thing in my life?

OP’s posts: |
TitianaTitsling Tue 15-Oct-19 11:50:07

Does she never want it to be sold, or just to make sure she gets her portion?

Catsfriend Tue 15-Oct-19 12:54:23

She wants to be certain that he isn’t syphoning the cash somewhere. He tried to commit fraud, by faking the land registry documents previously to list the flat as being in his company’s name...

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Collaborate Tue 15-Oct-19 14:15:19

£20k provision = a request for payment of £20k upfront on account of costs.

Either the solicitor doesn't want the work, or she's gone to someone who charges £800 an hour plus vat.

It should be a simple matter of registering the order with the courts here and then applying for a notice at the Land Registry.

Catsfriend Tue 15-Oct-19 17:01:18

Yes, my thoughts exactly. Have recommended a family lawyer to her.

OP’s posts: |
hairtoss Wed 16-Oct-19 13:58:22

You need UN1 form and £40 to send to Land Registry.
You can do it yourself - 2/3 sides of A4 form - very simple (you need some evidence that you were/are married and that you have a claim on the asset, send as much supporting info you can, even if the claim is rejected just send more supporting paperwork and it will get through) or pay a few hundred £ for a solicitor to do it.

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