Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Her Feckless Ex Doesn't Deserve a Penny

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Her Feckless Ex Doesn't Deserve a Penny

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

QMY DAUGHTER and her slob of an ex-boyfriend bought a house 19 years ago. The deposit was a gift to her from her aunt, my sister. Soon after moving in, my daughter had a baby but the boyfriend couldn't cope with fatherhood and scarpered six months later. He has never paid any maintenance and I had to help my daughter pay the mortgage because he didn't give a penny towards that, either.

As "the baby" is now nearly 20, my daughter wants to sell up and move. However, the mortgage was in joint names. Will the ex be entitled to a share of the proceeds? AIF YOUR sister had a loan agreement or any other legal documentation which protected the deposit she gave to your daughter, then she should be entitled to the return of the deposit on a sale. If there is no such documentation in place it may be difficult for her to recover the deposit.

With regard to your daughter's ex, the starting point is that he is entitled to share in the sale proceeds as a joint owner of the property. However, your daughter may be able to argue successfully that he should not have a share because he walked away from the property, and at that stage there was a "common intention" that she should have the benefit of the property moving forward -- particularly given that she, and your family, made all the financial contributions. This "common intention" would need to be assessed by a judge if your daughter's former partner tried to contest it.

As your daughter and her ex jointly own the property they will both need to be involved in the sale -- in that both must sign the transfer deed. So your daughter should notify him of the fact that she proposes to sell.

QI WANT to sell a house that I have been letting to students for the past six years. I inherited the place with my sister, and I bought her share in it. Then I refurbished it and lived there for a year in 2009.

The house is in my name only and I am married. …

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