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Did anyone buy a house in your or dp's name only, and then want to transfer it to the other person after you split?

(7 Posts)
houseproblem Fri 28-Aug-09 09:29:43

Hello, regular name-changer here...
I was wondering if anyone had been through the same situation as us.

while ex and I were together, we bought 2 houses, both in my name only. Both were bought after we divorced, but we were co-habiting (dd was born in this time).

When we split, we sold one house and divided the cash informally (never went to court over goods). We want to transfer the other house to his name.

Now here's the problem: I am being told that a co-habiting couple in the UK has separate possessions, not joint possessions, and therefore the house transfer would proceed as though it were between any 2 strangers.
The house is not in the UK, and this would mean a hefty tax bill.

A local lawyer tells me that the situation in the UK is what counts, because our main residence was always in the UK, and this lawyer is the same person who has told me that co-habiting couples in the UK have separate goods.

Has anyone in the UK transferred a house after splitting with a partner, and are goods treated as communal if you're not married? I always thought they were.

itsmeolord Fri 28-Aug-09 15:03:01

Nope, goods are treated as separate. There is no such thing as "common law" husbands/wives etc which is what i think you are alluding to.

Basically, if you are not married you are entitled to nothing automatically. You could have put some safeguards in place whilst still together, for example a deed of trust but I don;t think you can do anything after splitting.

mumblechum Sat 29-Aug-09 04:33:54

Because you bought the house when you were already divorced, essentially this is a matter of property law, not family law.

By "goods", presumably you mean legal interest in the house, nothing to do with contents?

I'd go back to the local lawyer and ask whether there's any way to mitigate the tax bill, but essentially if neither of you were resident in the house abroad, then he's right, the laws of England and Wales apply and you have no legal relationship so far as the transfer of property is concerned, other than owner/transferee.

mumblechum Sat 29-Aug-09 04:37:23

Sorry that bit about English law applying sounded a bit confusing. What I mean is that, say you've bought a house in France in your name and now want to transfer it to your ex husband, whether for full market price or not, then the fact that he happens to be your ex is irrelevant.

(If the house had been in England and Wales, no Stamp Duty would have been payable on the transfer if it had happened within the divorce proceedings but that's by the by).

houseproblem Sat 29-Aug-09 17:32:52

thank you for your advice both. shit - it looks as though I can't transfer the house to him, then.

We were divorced, but still living together, and still treating our finances as shared. I dont want the house, and never forsaw this tax bill.

mumblechum Sun 30-Aug-09 19:19:01

But if you're transferring for no consideration, are you sure tax is payable?

houseproblem Mon 14-Sep-09 14:26:35

sorry for delay - was on holiday.
yes, the local law is apparently that tax is payable.

We've found a way round it - ex h has been living there long enough to get certain tenants/inhabitants

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