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Relationship ended and not named on deeds...

(29 Posts)
worriedaboutsister Mon 18-May-15 14:55:52

Not sure where to post this, but hoping someone can help.

My sister has recently broken up with her partner of 10 years. The relationship ended quite unexpectedly (my sister thinks the ex has met someone else) and it has resulted in her effectively being made homeless. She is understandably not thinking very logically but I wonder if anyone can advise on her legal position, if any.

She moved into her partner's property soon after they got together and they moved to a bigger property around 7 years ago. Property and mortgage was always in her partner's name as my sister had a poor credit history - though they were looking to add her to both deeds and remortgage as her financial/job situation is now much improved. She has paid a fixed monthly sum towards the mortgage and joint bills throughout the relationship. She also paid 50% towards renovations including a new kitchen and bathroom.

My sister came home from work one day last month and her partner told her the relationship was over, asked her to leave the house for some "time to think" and during this time changed the locks, bagged up some of my sister's belongings into bin liners, dumped them at a neighbours and is now refusing any further contact. Fortunately she is able to stay with our parents at the moment otherwise she would be out on the streets.

My question is whether she is able to claim back any of the money she's been paying into the house over the years and what do they do about joint assets including the pets they own together?

Cherryapple1 Mon 18-May-15 15:04:11

she needs a lawyer and proof of what she paid.

what an utter shit - your poor sister.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-15 15:10:10

She could seek legal advice and I would speak to a Solicitor but unfortunately her legal position is very poor. Her status was really one of lodger in his home and he was also within his rights to ask her to leave (it was his property after all).

Unfortunately she has learnt a hard lesson the hard way. She basically subsidised him over the years at great financial and emotional cost to her own self. She could also have been added to the mortgage; he simply did not want her ever to be on this or the title deeds.

She may well not receive a penny back of any money that she put into his property. Does she have any proof of payments made to the property i.e. bank statements showing regular payments or receipts in her name for works done on the property?.

Basically what is his is his and what is hers is hers; what joint assets are there apart from the pets?. He will likely keep those as well.

Mumblechum1 Mon 18-May-15 15:10:22

She may have a claim under the Trustee of Lands and Appointment of Trustees Act for a declaration that she has an interest (used to be called a resulting trust but the law has changed since I retired as a family lawyer) in the house (it's relatively complicated and she does indeed need a solicitor).

If successful she will also get an order for the sale of the property so that she can recoup some of the money.

I suggest that you or she re-posts in Legal.

worriedaboutsister Mon 18-May-15 15:25:58

Thanks for the replies.

She can easily prove what she's paid as she had a monthly standing order set up. Guess the hard part would be proving what she was paying it for. They were engaged and had a date booked for the wedding, so sad for her.

Agree the ex is an utter shit, glitter bomb will be sent in due course.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-May-15 15:30:54

Does the standing order show a specific description e.g "(sister's name) monthly payment to (name of ex).

In any event she does need legal advice and asap as well.

cestlavielife Mon 18-May-15 15:31:12

50% towards renovations including a new kitchen and bathroom she might be able to make some kind of claim but she needs to find out how much it will cost to make that claim versus how much she might get back.

paying every month only gives her status as a lodger. nothing else.

there are no children right?

Jackiebrambles Mon 18-May-15 15:34:04

What a cunt, so sorry for your dear Sis. Definitely get her to make an appt with a solicitor. I hope she's able to get something back.

BeCool Mon 18-May-15 15:34:15

Utter shit indeed!

It used to be that having paid for home improvements (not decoration but certainly bathroom/kitchen renovations) really helped in making a claim against a property. This is not something a "tenant" or person unconnected with the property would do - it way well show that they were indeed in a partnership. This may well be the same situation - but I am unsure.

So she should be looking for evidence of those specific improvement contributions in particular.

She will need legal advise for sure.

sebsmummy1 Mon 18-May-15 15:34:38

I thought if you could prove that you helped pay the mortgage each month you were entitled to something. I know my sister had to pay her ex off when they split up because he had helped out in this way.

She definitely needs to get some legal advice and in hoping she is still young enough to be able to now afford her own place now her job situation has improved.

Bwino Mon 18-May-15 15:36:17

What a horrible man!.flowers

If I were you I wouldn't send a glitter bomb I was send shit, literally. Try or grin

ribenamum Mon 18-May-15 15:43:56

I think cestlavie is right...

I own my own place and did do for many years before we met.
I took legal advice about his position should we split. I was told basically he had the status of a lodger and would only be entitled to something if he could prove he contributed to improving the property eg put a roof on, extension etc

goddessofsmallthings Mon 18-May-15 15:46:20

From what you've said, it does appear that your sister has a claim in law.

If the ex claims that the sums she's paid in respect of the mortgage repayment were by way of rent, he'll need to prove his assertion by way of a rent book/tenancy agreement and counter any claim your sister may make in respect of illegal eviction.

A solicitor should be able to negotiate settlement of this matter without the need for court proceedings.

FreckledLeopard Mon 18-May-15 16:05:45

The costs of taking the matter to court, to somehow show she had an interest in the property, will likely run to tens of thousands of pounds. Unfortunately, cohabitees have precious few rights and it'll be an uphill struggle for your sister to prove that she is entitled to any share of the house.

worriedaboutsister Mon 18-May-15 16:21:27

I will get her to check what the SO said and confirm how she made the payments for the home improvements.

No children thankfully. Just a crazy dog that is like a child to my sister. She's not been allowed to see the dog and it looks like the twunt ex will be keeping it that way too.

I will get her to get onto a solicitor ASAP.

AuntieDee Mon 18-May-15 17:10:36

If she can prove the money was half towards the mortgage and not some sort of 'board' contribution she will have a claim and if it is more than half she will have a bigger claim, more so if she can claim she paid half of the bills. She needs to see a solicitor but sadly it could get expensive.

worriedaboutsister Tue 19-May-15 10:03:11

DSis was 'allowed' to go around and collect more of her things yesterday whilst ex was at work. Neighbour passed out bin bags of property but stood guard at front door as sister wasn't allowed past threshold. More bagged up stuff but nowhere near all of it. The plan is to go back at the weekend with a van to get the rest but who knows if she'll be 'allowed' to. She also confessed that ex hadn't changed locks, but had snatched back the key just before throwing her out of the property.

I am livid but have been told by sis I am not allowed to contact ex and tell them a few home truths as she thinks they're fucking bonkers mentally unstable and will destroy the rest of her belongings. Pointed out that ex is an emotionally abusive fuckwit but she's just worried about getting her stuff back.

Jackiebrambles Tue 19-May-15 12:08:30

Good god this is awful!

Why is he being such an arse?! Your poor sister.
Get her to a solicitor asap. They might be able to help with her accessing her belongings perhaps?

TaliZorahVasNormandy Tue 19-May-15 17:03:13

My best friend nearly ended up in the same position. Fortunately for her, she never officially moved in. Bastard still kept the stuff she had moved in though.

She really needs legal advice,

Rebecca2014 Tue 19-May-15 17:38:25

Sorry but it is a very harsh lesson for your sister.

He is being an arse but if I was in his position, I would take back control of the house too. Fact is it doesn't matter how happy a relationship may seem, you cannot account for the future and we should all make sure we are protected.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Tue 19-May-15 19:26:24

I know this isn't relevant to your sister's predicament, but is her ex a woman?

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Tue 19-May-15 21:52:53

Sorry to be nosy, but it was the 'bonkers' comment that made me realise you hadn't actually said the word 'he' in any of your posts. People tend to use that in relation to women IME

cestlavielife Tue 19-May-15 22:12:37

What does she want or expect ? To force a sale and get a share of the equity ? How much potentially versus how much it would cost to go to court ? Plus the emotional cost... The hassle. Etc.

Best cut losses and have no more contact. Lesson for future don't spend more than one year as a lodger and don't fund improvements unless you on the deeds and mortgage..

ClaudiaNaughton Wed 20-May-15 08:42:55

Yes, a very expensive lesson.sad

LadyCatherineDeTurd Wed 20-May-15 12:14:00

Roughly how much has she contributed in documentable mortgage and home improvement payments? Because if she can prove what she's paid, yes she may well have a claim, but if he wants to play silly buggers it's unlikely to come cheap. If he's unwilling to co-operate, she will need to go to court to realise her interest. She's going to need to factor the cost of legal fees into this, to decide whether it's worth it.

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