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Joint Mortgage in Negative Equity/Ex never contributed towards mortgage and refuses to sell


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I have a property with my ex partner which has been solely funded by me. The deposit was raised from equity released from my previous property and I have solely paid the interest-only mortgage for 3+ years now. The property cost 400K, and is now estimated to be worth 300K. He has been living in the property since we split, 6 months after buying it. I live in a different country with my parents and our young son. I have not received any child maintenance from my ex. I have not pursued this through the courts, as he has never worked and as I understand it, I’d only be entitled to 11% of his salary, so that’s 11% of nothing!

 

I want to sell the property now to cut my losses as the property is in bad repair and deteriorating and interest rates can only go up. He claims not to want to live in it as there is no central heating and very little comfort, but he says he won’t let me sell unless he can make a profit on it, or I buy him out with the funds I made selling my previous property (our previous home to which he contributed nothing in bills or rent for the time I owned it). He claims that I should pay him for the renovation work he did to this previous property to increase its price. We both worked on the property and we never had any agreement they he was entitled to any of the profit should we separate. The reality is that the profit was only 10K after I had deducted my downpayment on the property. I can afford to take a hit on our jointly owned property using this downpayment, as I’m afraid of losing more in the long term. Alternatively he wants me to invest a large sum in the property so he can do it up to achieve a better sale price and walk away with half the profit. What he refuses to recognize, is that it would still be in negative equity in the current market (we have had it valued in its current state and finished by two local agents). I believe that I would also be entitled to deduct my deposit and his unpaid half of the mortgage payments from any profit before it was split. This he also disagrees with.

 

Any advice please as how to force him to let me sell our property? And whether you think he is entitled to anything?

 

Thank you, mary unfairly

Edited by mary unfairly
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Hi there mary and welcome to the cag first of all the problem you have here is your ex partner has his name on the deeds,of course the best option would be to sell and as you say take the hit on this financially and cut your losses,however being as your partner is joint owner of the property (in law), if one party wants to keep the property then they buy the others share,i did this once myself,you may have this option open to you and then of course you would be free to sell.On the other hand you could argue that this person has not contributed to the mortgage payments and bills and is therefore no longer entitled to the their share of the property,however this would involve a messy and protracted court case which you have no guarantee of winning,what makes any court action even more difficult for you is the fact he is still living in the property.If you can prove that he has never contibuted to this property in any way you may have a chance but you would need facts and figures down on paper.If i were you i would seek some legal advice because if your ex partner also seeks advice you could be in for a long and costly battle.

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Hi newstarter,

Thanks for your advice. With regards to 'buying him out', what value could I put on that, bearing in mind that the property is in negative equity? The deposit I paid was 10% of the purchase price. Could I therefore buy him out for 5% of the purchase price? I also wonder if the mortgage company would allow this as I have a modest income and live outside of the UK.

He has threatened court action but I don't think he can afford it as he is effectively living off his family and myself.

Regards, Mary Fairly

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Mary if i was you i would make him an offer use the 5% as your starting point,however if he wont play ball the only thing you can do is start court proceedings against him,however acourt would look at it this way,if thwere is a shortfall after the mortgage has been paid he would be liable for 50% of the money outstanding,so it follows that if you buy him out in order to sell and cut your losses any solicitor working on his behalf would be looking at 50% of the down payment so be careful here mary my guess is because he has no money an offer of some easy cash just might swing it but i wouldnt hold my breath ,make him an offer and see what he is prepared to settle for.

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