Property Rights

Posted on 23 February 2011 by Helena


My Mother bought a house 23 years ago with her long term partner. He lived there and contributed to the mortgage for around 2 years and then left after arranging a remortgage on the house and walking away with all the cash. At the time he agreed to sign the deeds over to her, however, when the time came he changed his mind. She tried to get the mortgage company to make the whole mortgage in her name but they wouldn’t (as she wasn’t earning enough). However, since then she has paid the entire mortgage (so c. 21 years), all the upkeep etc. There has been no financial input from this man.

Does she now own the entire home? Can he claim any of its value when she comes to sell? Can she sell it (this is what she is looking to do in the next year)?

Helena,

From what you have said it sounds like the house is still registered in their joint names and your Mother will not be able to sell the property without her ex partner's signature. She certainly doesn't own the entire home and it is possible he could claim some of the proceeds of any sale.

I recommend that your Mother gets independent legal advice about her situation and how best to resolve it.

Peter

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