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Cohabiting - rights, etc.

(6 Posts)
jodee Sun 05-Oct-03 13:39:32

Hi there, need a bit of legal advice please. Mum owns her property outright but her (Dutch) 'boyfriend' moved in last May 02. It's been a huge mistake and she wants him out (he is still under the impression they are going to get married, Mum is wracked with guilt). Under English law, am I right in thinking that if his name isn't on the Deeds he cannot claim a penny? (He has a property himself in Holland).
The other concern is squatters rights - can anyone enlighten me there?

lucy123 Sun 05-Oct-03 13:48:00

I am not a legal professional or anything but I have a brain for facts and I am sure you are right - that since his name is not on the deeds he is not entitled to anything.

Squatters' "rights" have been greatly curtailed in recent years (basically now just mean that you have to get a court order to get squatter out rather than send the heavies in yourself - takes a couple of weeks), but I don't think they apply in cases of co-habitation anyway.

Does that help?

Janstar Sun 05-Oct-03 15:21:29

You have to be married to claim anything in a break-up. Living together doesn't exist in English law.

When you get a mortgage you have to declare other people who are planning to live in the house and get them to sign a document stating that they have no claim on your house. I think if he wanted to he could make trouble and then your mum would have to defend by proving that she had paid the bills (especially the mortgage). If indeed she has been paying everything she would defeat any claim he might but it might mean paying out for legal costs.

With any luck he will not be aware of this anyway and maybe will go quietly.

coppertop Sun 05-Oct-03 15:25:47

Under English law he would have no rights to the property. These days it is almost impossible to get squatters rights either. Usually only happens now if person has been living there for years with no sight of the landlord. If he refuses to leave I think your mum would be able to get help from the police. HTH

kaz33 Sun 05-Oct-03 16:10:18

I am a property solicitor.

Squatters rights are totally irrelevant.

If he had been contributing towards the mortgage or contributing to bills without which his help your mother would have been unable to pay the mortgage then he could have a claim.

However, otherwise he gets diddly squat.

jodee Sun 05-Oct-03 18:24:28

Thanks everyone for your advice, that's put my mind at rest. I don't think he is contributing to mortgage/bills - maybe just the phone bill, but then he whacks it up using the internet - in fact my Mum is now in debt thanks to him. Mum has let this situation drag on for far too long, unfortunately; I only recently found out that she realised what a big mistake she'd made about a fortnight into his move over here.

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