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Can ex claim on my property

(74 Posts)
Oakleygirl Sat 09-Jun-18 17:20:05

My ex has contacted a solicitor about claiming a percentage of my property. The facts (I can prove) are:

1) He moved in and lived with me from a rented property.
2) He paid no "keep" for the first 22 months.
3)He lived with me for 34 months only.
4)He altered my property (blocked in 1 door way, removed conservatory doors and decorated so we could use lounge as a bedroom and conservatory as a lounge) in order that his daughter could have a bedroom.
5)He now claims the work he did increased the value of my house and is taking me to court for a share.

I had to get a full time job to support us (previously worked part time) and am currently still paying off the debt I accrued while supporting this sponger.

Has anyone had any experience of this sort of thing? Has he got a chance of winning his claim?

Hs2Issue Sat 09-Jun-18 17:21:50

Were you married? As that could affect the situation.

Imchlibob Sat 09-Jun-18 17:24:44

Removing the conservatory doors will have significantly reduced the value of the property in that without conservatory doors your house does not meet building regulations and will be effectively unsaleable - you will have to spend money to restore the doors if you decide to sell.

I'm not a professional but I don't think he has a hope.

Jonbb Sat 09-Jun-18 17:30:37

It very much depends on the value of the work he has carried out on the property. You should obtain a few opinions from estate agents, as to how much value if any, the work has added. How long did you own the property before he moved in? You can discount the decorating as not being relevant because that's maintenance not improvement. If what you say, is what he did, there is an argument that you have to pay to revert the property to its original form as the conservatory was not needed as a lounge and was unsuitable. Is it heated? Is it too hot in summer too cold in winter? These are the sort of arguments you should run with. Basically he could have a claim but it's unlikely to be much, depending on what the estate agents say. Get the valuations and take it from there. Post back when you have the info.

MrsBertBibby Sat 09-Jun-18 17:36:27

I would do nothing until he actually has his solicitor write setting out his claim.

I get people wanting to make claims often. When I tell them they haven't a cat in hell's chance, and I'll need £5K to get started, they tend to go away.

Oakleygirl Sat 09-Jun-18 17:45:24

We weren't married and I owned the house for 6 years before he moved in. He put a radiator in the conservatory but it was still too cold in the winter. When he left I put the lounge furniture back into the lounge. I'm so glad to have my house back! I've got advice from one estate agent who says the value could only be increased by a extension/loft conversion. He has the money to take me to court, but I have been left with no savings, just the debt he created for me by him not paying his way while he was here. I was always cautious of making him angry as he could be volatile, especially when he'd been drinking. So happy to have him gone, but don't need this worry.

Vitalogy Sat 09-Jun-18 18:36:43

I think you'll be ok OP. As MrsBertBibby says, he'll change his mind once he knows the costs involved, he's just trying it on. Sounds like he owes you money, not the other way around. You could mention that I suppose, but as you said he can be volatile, so you'll have to weigh that up. As you say you're just glad to be shot of him and I don't blame you either.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Sat 09-Jun-18 18:40:48

Maybe invoice him for 22 months rent?

Oakleygirl Sat 09-Jun-18 19:01:42

I intend to bring up the matter of 22 months rent if it goes to court. Also I paid for every holiday we had while together apart from one, and I believe he only paid for that because we went in someone else's place and the money had to be paid into his friend's account. (I assume he paid because he didn't want his friend to see me paying for the holiday).

Fortunately I have back statements to support everything I say.

Jonbb Sat 09-Jun-18 20:10:01

The only thing that is relevant really is the 'improvements' to the property. Sit tight and see what happens. I don't think from what you've said, the so called improvements have added any value. For what it's worth, and for other readers on here, never let them make any direct payments to the mortgage, never let them build any extensions, loft conversions, or other improvements such as installing central heating or boiler, or double glazing, stuff like that, and never let them make a capital payment against the mortgage. Never agree that the house is 'for both of us', Never agree it is shared. It is always 'my' property. That way they cannot claim any share of your property, unless you are married, or have a deed of trust. Spread the word. It's difficult enough to accumulate property, without somebody else getting their hands on it.

Singlenotsingle Sat 09-Jun-18 20:13:05

He really was a money grabber, wasn't he? You're lucky to be rid of the CF!

Iflyaway Sat 09-Jun-18 21:58:06

We weren't married and I owned the house for 6 years before he moved in.

Well, that is a good lesson to all women on here.

Do NOT move a man into your house because he can claim on it.

Get legal advice BEFORE - while falling in love!

Thank fuck I live in a country where we have a nuptial agreement with or without marriage or registered partnership. Or write a will if you have children.

Sorry to be harsh. We women have to take care of ourselves and our kids.

Iflyaway Sat 09-Jun-18 21:58:52

I thought that is what feminism is all about.....

swingofthings Sun 10-Jun-18 07:41:13

Don't bother to bring up the rent. You did nothing about it and let him live there rent free, it will be considered that you agreed with it.

I've got advice from one estate agent who says the value could only be increased by a extension/loft conversion
Do you have this in writing? This is the key evidence you require. The fact that he mentions that the work has increased the value would indicate he has sought some advice as this is indeed what it comes down to. I would suggest getting another estate agent (even 2 ideally) and get them to say the same thing in writing (assuming he agrees), and that will be you best change to win. You want to let him know you've got that evidence first, he might realise it's not worth going through to court.

Oakleygirl Sun 10-Jun-18 10:48:25

jonbb the "improvements" were only necessary to give his daughter a bedroom. If it wasn't for her he could have moved in without any work being needed.

Swingofthings when he moved in he hardly worked so had no money. He was quick to lose his temper and I was treading on eggshells a lot of the time. Immediately regretted letting him move in but hoped things would improve.....they didn't, hence the split. I will get estate agent opinions in writing as you suggest.

The only thing that is playing on my mind is, when he did finally start paying his way (after I asked him to leave as I was by this time in debt) he started paying me from his bank (had to prompt him every month!!) and put the payments through as "Mortgage". I think he was being crafty even then to do that?? He didn't pay to my mortgage provider, just into my account? Will that count as paying the mortgage?

MrsBertBibby Sun 10-Jun-18 12:43:53

Of course not OP.

Look, he really doesn't have a claim, based on what you say. Don't waste your time giving this headspace. I shall be very surprised if he even gets a solicitor to write to you, let alone issues an application. He's just trying to upset you.

Unless of course there's a load more you haven't said.

yoyo1234 Sun 10-Jun-18 12:54:33

Get estate agents to say the change of use does not add value. Do this for your own state of mindflowers. Anyone can place any reference they want on a money transfer. It does not mean it is the case.

Oakleygirl Sun 10-Jun-18 12:59:31

MrsBertBibby you're right, I'm just winding myself up about it I think. He's clearly very bitter that his plans for a nice easy future were ended prematurely when I realised what a fool he was making of me. I'll not give it any more thought unless he makes it official.

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Jonbb Sun 10-Jun-18 13:31:27

Did the amount he paid into your account directly correlate with the monthly mortgage payments, and how much in total over the whole period?

Neweternal Sun 10-Jun-18 14:15:38

It was not a matrimonial home. You bought it before he moved in. You have nothing to worry about, he is clutching at straws.

Clutchcar10 Sun 10-Jun-18 14:21:19

Don't give him any money. He willingly spent time and money on a property that did not belong to him. I would ignore all his messages, because he is an EX

swingofthings Sun 10-Jun-18 16:11:49

Of course not OP.
I don't think it's a case of 'of course not'. He paid 12 months in and wrote it as mortgage payment. OP had the opportunity to challenge it as she would have known it was referenced as such.

Ultimately, we are talking about 12 months. 12 months, trying to evidence the increase in equity raised during that time divided by two can't be that significant and of course, that would be deducting the supposed increase due to his work.

I think he does have a case in principle, but not on the reality, which is that he contributed 12 months and paid for some work, which could only amount to little, that is if he could demonstrate a value of this in the first place.

Saying that, how much did he pay? 50% of the mortgage exactly? More?

Oakleygirl Sun 10-Jun-18 16:29:10

He paid around £600 per month, my mortgage is £630. So if he thought he was paying "the mortgage" who did he think was paying for his food, all the bills, holidays?? He was happy to let me pay all those bills, and I was too scared to challenge him, I just wanted a quiet life, to my cost now, if he can get anything out of me. I lost £335 from Tax Credits when he moved in, so in effect I was only £265 better off. I also paid his phone contract (not willingly, he said he'd give me the money if I set up a standing order but he never did.) The only thing he paid for was beer and takeaways, as if he suggested a takeaway I said my budget wouldn't run to that. He took advantage of me when I was weak and lonely. I got stronger in time and saw him for what he was and thankfully had the strength to get him out of my property.

msmsms Sun 10-Jun-18 17:01:00

Wow what a freeloader!

Imchlibob Sun 10-Jun-18 19:14:57

Well done for getting him out so swiftly. We regularly have threads here where some woman has been victim to a cocklodger like this for many many years.

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