Unmarried couples: Property Dispute
Acting on behalf of the Claimant in TOLATA proceedings. The Claimant had moved out of the family home 3 years before instigating Court proceedings. The Claimant wanted the house to be sold, so she could be released from the mortgage, to enable her to purchase a new property. The Defendant initially refused to cooperate, and was unwilling to accept that the property would need to be sold.
The property was worth £650,000, holding equity of £510,000. It was held in the parties’ joint names.
The Claimant had initially suggested that the Defendant buy out her 50% share, but the Defendant did not accept that she was entitled to an equal share of the property. He offered the Claimant the sum of £12,500 to relinquish her interest, an offer which was unsurprisingly rejected.
The Claimant instigated TOLATA proceedings, seeking an order for sale, and an order determining that the property was held by the parties in equal shares.
The claim was defended in its entirety, with the Defendant asserting that the property should not be sold, and that the Claimant should not be entitled to a 50% share. He claimed that he had refurbished the property, spending just under £100,000 on the restorations. This was disputed by the Claimant. The Defendant was unable to provide any documentary evidence to substantiate his claim.
The case proceeded to trial, with the judge ordering that the property be sold, and that the net proceeds of sale should be distributed to the parties in equal shares. The Claimant was also awarded her costs, which the Defendant would be required to discharge using his share of the proceeds of sale.