Home > Housing > Selling the Jointly Owned Home

Selling the Jointly Owned Home

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 23 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Separation Divorce Property Deed

When you divorce or separate, one of the hardest decisions to make is what to do with your home. It’s your biggest asset, especially as house prices continue to rise, but it also has a history for you both, and may represent and ideal place to continue living for one of you. So what are your options?

The Basics

You should always seek qualified legal advice on these matters, but in a nutshell, of you’re married, in a civil partnership or living together and own the home jointly, your partner cannot sell it without your permission.

Even if your partner is the sole owner, if you’re married or in a civil partnership, your partner still can’t sell the home without your permission (this does not apply if you’re simply living together).

In other words, you do at least have a safety net – in most instances you can’t be simply thrown out on the street. However, be aware that if you’re just living together with your partner as the sole owner, and you have no agreement in writing to show you have a financial interest in the property, then you have very little legal status, and even in court you’re unlikely to see any proceeds from a sale.

Staying In The House

It’s not uncommon in a divorce for one partner to buy out the other and stay in the family home. Make sure there’s an independent valuation on the property to ensure a fair price is set. Of course, much of this is dependent on you or your partner being able to obtain a mortgage for the appropriate amount.

If Your Partner Refuses Permission

If you want to sell and your partner doesn’t (or vice versa), one person can begin an action of division and sale in court. However, the other party can petition the court to a division of the proceeds, or to buy the place at a market price or one decided by the court.

In the case of one person being the owner of the property and the other withholding permission to sell, then the courts can allow the sale under certain circumstances. In essence, these are if one party is unable to sign for medical reasons, if one party has vanished and can’t be found, or if the court believes that permission in being unreasonably withheld.

It can also attach conditions to the sale, such as setting a date by which any sale has to be completed, or a minimum selling price.

How Much Can You Expect?

Obviously, it’s impossible to put a figure on how much you’ll receive. But a sale doesn’t mean you’ll split the proceeds 50-50. It all depends on what you agreed when you bought the place, whether one or other of you has put a lot into the property, how the deed reads, and if you can come to an agreement, either between yourselves or through solicitors, when you break up.

If you can’t come to an agreement, the court will decide for you, taking several factors into account. If you’re married, then it will depend on who paid part of the deposit, whether one or other of you has really been making the mortgage payments, who will be looking after any children, the income of each partner, and what other resources either of you might possess.

The court can also decide, if one of you is raising children from the marriage, that that person can remain in the property with the children until they’re of age, or even without children, that one person can remain in the property and pay rent to the other party.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
my ex parther want me to sell our family home or buy him out . i would like to stay in my home . dont know wot to do ...
son - 19-Aug-19 @ 5:58 PM
Hi i left my ex 4 years ago and I remained in the jointly owned property with our 2 kids. Since we split I have paid the mortgage completely by myself but I am now needing to sell as children now need their own rooms. The ex has not seen the children in over 1.5yrs and I have had no contact with them for 6 months now. I have emailed/messaged them to get their permission to sell but as yet have had no response and am now unsure what I need to do to be able to put the property up for sale.
NIC - 3-Aug-19 @ 9:18 PM
Hi I split up with my partner 2 years ago and moved out, we have 2 children together, we agreed on splitting everything down the middle, we share a business together, I pay maintenance for the children, pay half the mortgage and insurance policies, I have given half our joint savings to her aswell She told me that she's going to sell the house so that I can buy my own house, as I cannot keep paying rent as well as half of bills and maintenance, but now she says she won't sell I am in a financial state so I would like to sell my share of the property, can anyone help me as i dont know who to speak to it about it or where to turn
Mrs Jennifer Swift - 8-Jul-19 @ 5:05 PM
My wife and I are separated. Have two children.She lives in the house we jointly own with our children.Up until late last year. I was solely paying the mortgage for five years.Her farther gifted us as a married couple 40k for the deposit.Her farther sadly passed while we where still together.With her inheritance we/she spent 80k on a large extension on the property. I would like to sell my half of the property. Either to her or otherwise. Legally I don't know where I stand, as yes I've payed the bulk of the mortgage so far and still paying half.But her farther gave us the 40k for the deposit on the house in the first place, and the money for the extension came from her inheritance, an extension which has of course increased the value of the house. So, I guess legally I would like to know where I stand. Thank you x
Oli - 23-Jun-19 @ 9:21 PM
A friend brought his house with his then girlfriend 10years ago.She left after 2 years never paying anything but he now wants to sell the house. But doesn’t have any contact details for her. She is named on mortgage and deedswhat can he do
Juju - 10-Jun-19 @ 6:10 PM
I have been separated from my husband for 5 years.He wont sign divorce papers and my name is on mortgage.How can I get my divorce
Shelley - 9-Jun-19 @ 6:23 PM
my wife has a house with her ex, (not married) she wants out of the mortgage so we can move forward. How do we get her name off the mortgage?
Lawrence Ham - 21-May-19 @ 10:10 PM
Hi there I have a slight problem with my partner we always angry with each other we live in the same house but not as partner I want to get out of there I want to sell house or I want him to buy me out he said no neverplz help me can I sell house with out his concent tell thecourt to pay his half when they sell the property
Tara - 13-May-19 @ 3:14 PM
Hi there I have a slight problem my ex partner and I didn't get along together he used to take money off me cash and pay thorough his account we put our house on sale while ago he broke the sale board he didn't provide for kids or pay any bill in the house I cant live with him i want to sell my house or he can buy me out but he said just dream never goin happen plzan you advise e me if Ian sell with out his concentration pay his share
Tara - 13-May-19 @ 3:10 PM
Hi, I recently brought a house with my now ex partner.As I already own 2 properties we used the sale of her old martial home as the deposit.To ensure her deposit was always safe I advised her to put a declaration of trust in place, in the case we did split, she would automatically receive this back.I did this as she has 3 children from her marriage, and regardless, I wanted to ensure if anything should happen they would always have this money if anything went wrong.I really didn’t foresee us splitting up, but we did, after only 2 weeks of owning the home.We have a joint tenants mortgage, 50:50 in place.My ex kicked me out of the house and would not allow me to take some of my personal items that I brought from my previous house to furnish the new.She has also informed me that i will have to pay a larger portion of the mortgage, its currently £1100 pcm and she expects me to pay most of this.I have told her i am financially unable to do this as I have other bills.She works, receives child benefit, child maintenance and is now re-applying for her working tax credits.I have offered to pay some towards the mortgage, £300 but she is refusing.She said she would not pay the mortgage and i would get a poor credit score, and she would be ok as she has her £70k.I have tired to inform her this is not the case and we must keep paying the mortgage or sell the house.She said no judge or court in the land would force a sale as she has children. I don't want to sun settle the children, they mean a lot to me, i was with their mother for 2 years, and i am happy to pay my way, but, i will not pay most of the mortgage as I feel this is unjust and unfair.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Gymbunny - 5-May-19 @ 8:08 AM
Hi, I recently brought a house with my now ex partner.As I already own 2 properties we used the sale of her old martial home as the deposit.To ensure her deposit was always safe I advised her to put a declaration of trust in place, in the case we did split, she would automatically receive this back.I did this as she has 3 children from her marriage, and regardless, I wanted to ensure if anything should happen they would always have this money if anything went wrong.I really didn’t foresee us splitting up, but we did, after only 2 weeks of owning the home.We have a joint tenants mortgage, 50:50 in place.My ex kicked me out of the house and would not allow me to take some of my personal items that I brought from my previous house to furnish the new.She has also informed me that i will have to pay a larger portion of the mortgage, its currently £1100 pcm and she expects me to pay most of this.I have told her i am financially unable to do this as I have other bills.She works, receives child benefit, child maintenance and is now re-applying for her working tax credits.I have offered to pay some towards the mortgage, £300 but she is refusing.She said she would not pay the mortgage and i would get a poor credit score, and she would be ok as she has her £70k.I have tired to inform her this is not the case and we must keep paying the mortgage or sell the house.She said no judge or court in the land would force a sale as she has children. I don't want to sun settle the children, they mean a lot to me, i was with their mother for 2 years, and i am happy to pay my way, but, i will not pay most of the mortgage as I feel this is unjust and unfair.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Gymbunny - 5-May-19 @ 8:06 AM
I have owned my house with my ex partner now for 14 years, I have not been with my ex for 9 years, thankfully happily married. My question is: My ex and the estate agents have placed my house on the market with out asking or me signing anything!! The esate agents was managing our property while we live in another part of the world so they know I own 50% as I have to sign documents for new tenants to move in!! Is this illegal in the UK from both parties Looking for help as I feel I like to get a lawyer involved regarding the estate agents and my ex but not sure where to look? Much appreciated
Monkey toes - 25-Apr-19 @ 9:29 PM
What is the legal position with myself and my partner with selling our property.We are not married but have cohabited for a few years. We have one child.I want to sell the property but my partner doesn't.We have joint names on the mortgage.She currently works part time but will work more hours to finance herself and our child.I have agreed to mind our child whilst she works more hours.
Alf - 6-Apr-19 @ 4:00 PM
Been divorced since 2006. Ex has not paid any of joint morgage since then. My son is 18 next year. He has hospital education as he is unwell. I am classed as a vunerable person. The deeds are in my name only. Is there a way we could stay in the house. Where will we live once equity is used on private renting. We dont deserve to be destitute. ??
Cherry - 20-Mar-19 @ 5:15 PM
Me and my ex partner have split up after 15years together. We have a joint mortgage he has moved out of the house. I am living here with our son paying for everything. My ex is refusing to sell house refusing to contribute to mortgage refusing to buy me out. I had the house ready to sell but he will not give a signature. My lawyer said it could take up to a year in court to get him to agree. I don't want to put my life on hold for another year waiting on him to sell. What can I do?? He has full control of my life at the moment. He does not respond to lawyers and I do not have a forwarding address for him. I need to sell this house and me and my son need to move on from this nightmare. What can I do???
Bert - 9-Mar-19 @ 5:06 PM
I seperated from my partner 8 years ago and we have a joint mortgage. She has never made 1 contribution in the last 8 years to the mortgage and is now seeking sale of the property and asking for 50%. we lived together in the house for the 1st 5 years.So in total 13 years mortgage but only 1st 5 years did she live there and even then never made any mortgage payments as i was main bread winner!!!! I dont think she should be entitled to 50% as she hasnt lived there for last 8 years and not paid a penny towards mortgage...can someone give me some advise?
frustrated - 4-Feb-19 @ 3:38 PM
My boyfriend and I have a joint mortgage. Our relationship is going down the hill for a while now so I got to the point that I want to sell or he buys me out. He knows this relationship doesnt work but dont want to admitt it so he is refusing to sale or buy me out. I am not for the UK and all my family is back home so it is hard for me to go somewhere else as I cant rent and pay for the mortgage at the same time. There is a lot of profit in the house as we renovated it. I have spoken to solicitors and they said that he needs to sell or buy me out to take my name of the mortgage. I have told him this but he is refusing. Can someone help me?
Lil - 27-Jan-19 @ 9:10 AM
I left my spouse and family home in November 2018 (spouse and kids still there), the house has been on the market since summer of 2018, we decided to sell the house to pay off debt. However, now that we have parted ways they have refused to drop house price even though in the whole 7 months on the market there has only been 3 viewings, and now they have took the house off the market! Is that allowed without my consent?
Annoyed - 24-Jan-19 @ 6:48 AM
my ex & i bought our 3rd house together in 1996 the equitity from the last property was used as adownpayment so we had a smaller mortgage i left in 2008 our daughter was still living there until age 20 its been 4 yrs since she left. we emptied most of the house TO SELL now he wont sell or buy me outhe forged my signiture not long after i left in 2008 and changed the mortgage from repayment to interest onlyhe is not maintaining the house at all. to top it off he has filled the house withalot of his new partnersfurnitureas shes just moved into smaller accommodation and cant fit it in her propertyi dont know what to do. Hes now ssaying i have to pay half of the interest only mortgage is this true ?all my money is sitting in that housethats going into disrepairit was alway one excuse after another not to sell with himive been waiting patiently for 10 nearly 11 yrs i need help dont know what to do and its making me ill
sins66 - 11-Jan-19 @ 5:38 PM
My partner has decided he no longer wants to be in our relationship. We joint own our property and I am not sure if I have a legal timescale to put the house on the market. He has already processed and moved on but I am still coming to terms with my loss. I have requested that I will be willing to put the house on the market in spring or by 01/03/2019 ( he has already moved out) can he force me to put it on the market earlier or am I been realistic to hold off till March and when emotions have subsided.
MJ - 17-Nov-18 @ 5:32 PM
Hi I am on a joint mortgage with my Husband !! He left me in October 2018. He was caught cheating. He straight away started to say the house as to be sold. We don't have children together but we have a dog. I Really don't want to sell but I don't thing I earn enough to take the mortgage on !! Do you have any advice that would help me please.i am having trouble finding accommodation that is pet friendly !! Should I have to move out.
Dottie - 13-Nov-18 @ 10:41 AM
On 31 st August 2014, I purchased a house with my then partner (Not married!) of 7 years. Prior to purchase there was advice from my parents about putting in place some form of rudimentary ‘pre-nuptial agreement’ to cover the eventuality of a separation, however, at the time my ex, disagreed with the whole concept. So we proceeded without. We agreed to a 50:50 deal, where by my ex was put on to the deeds of the house. We were forced to acquire a ‘sub-prime’ mortgage, as my ex's credit rating was poor, due to pay day loans etc. I myself was and had always been the main bread winner (apart from a year where I was re-training to be a teacher) so in the interests of fairness I decided to share the equity with my partner, after all that is what I thought you should do in a long and committed relationship (hindsight is a wonderful thing).After several months of living at our joint house my ex decided that he no longer wanted to be with me. He had been seeing other men and spending long periods of time in London, stating that the journey was too long between the house and work. In March 2015, we official spilt. Initially this was amicable. I allowed My ex to live in my home for several months as he found a flat in London. I paid for the deposit for said flat on the agreement that he would transfer his half of the equity when the time came. At the time I was convinced that my ex and I would be able to repair our relationship, so I took him flat hunting, took him to work each day, paid for new business ventures (that did not pan out) and started to pay for the whole of the mortgage including all bills, life insurances and taxes, putting more support into my ex then was required in my diminished responsibility as a ‘friend’ now rather then a partner. We had appointed the solicitors that had assisted us in the purchase of the property to initiate the transfer of equity. My emailed them informing them that he did not want to seek any financial reimbursement for his half of the equity share in light of money already received. Unfortunately, I had been signed off from work due to mental health and stress related symptoms. My employer decided that they were not going to support me and; started the process of disciplinary, in the end I was dismissed for all intense and purposes. So I was not in a position to be able to take sole responsibility for the mortgage and; was not able to remove my ex's name from the mortgage as it required a new mortgage, either way it was financially costly. To cut a long story short, I had my ex sign a make shift letter of intent, which he did when he moved out. I cannot find him and my fiances have got even worse. I now need to sell my home, does anyone know how this can be done in my present situation please? Any advice would be gratefully received. I am now married and want to make sure that we can start a fresh in a new home of our own.
RCG2018 - 11-Nov-18 @ 9:46 PM
My son and his wife married now separated they sold the marital home and with the proceeds bought seperate homes she has now sold hers and her boyfriend has sold his and they have bought a house together as we are still married can she well that house without my permission
Tibbsy - 9-Nov-18 @ 7:58 AM
Hello really could do with a little advise my step mum left my dad for a 20 year old moved out the family home they have two teenage daughters together and share the children equally through out the weeks my dad paid for her flat deposit and furnished it she is now with some one els wants to get married and buy a house so she is trying to make my dad sell their home it was my grandad home that he brought i know she never paid near to what my dad has paid for the house bills ECT but did contribute a bit. And the house is in both their names can she make him?
Nm - 4-Nov-18 @ 8:31 PM
Hi- asking on behalf of a family member. He and his wife had a joint home, which she has not lived in for a long time, probably over ten years, while he remained and paid the mortgage. He is serving a substantial sentence in prison and the ex wife (not officially divorced yet) has so far attempted a suspect letter trying to direct him to sign the house over to her. There appeared to be no official solicitor stanp etc, despite claiming to be from one. She is aware that neither of them can sell without permission from the other. He signed nothing, believing it to be false. He has had another letter, this time naming a solictor, with address. It is directing him to agree to the sale of the home due to him not returning to it for possibly ten years. There are no other guidelines as to what exactly he would agree to, ie signing over all rights to any monies due, despite it being him who has almost paid off the remaining mortgage.It has been hinted if he refuses, his ex will take him to court and they may seek that he pays those expenses. Can they do that if he is in prison? Where does he stand, as there are many deceptions and manipulations in the family.
Nials - 11-Oct-18 @ 7:42 PM
Hi my husband decided to leave me for an 18yr old after 14yrs together, he recieved a large inheritance just before, which hes spent partying, im getting very small payout. Iv been a full time mum for the last 8yrs, no family close by to help. Hes now selling our home making me and kids homeless, council won't help until its officially sold and I'll have 8 weeks to find somewhere else to live, iv no savings either. House is up for valuation price, theres no equity in house if anything will be negitive equity. Hes demanding to reduce the amount of the house for quicker sale, can he force me to reduce price? Thank you
Lk - 10-Oct-18 @ 9:51 PM
Hi. I have split with my partner of 18 years and currently still own a house with himwe have never been married or have had children. We have currently split for 2 years now, but still own the house together. Oringally we both tried to sell the property , but after gettingtwo offers both buyers dropped out and have found out why when i tired to remortage the house in my name soley and was rejected by the bank because of some 'block' on the house. I have nowfound out my ex is in seroius debt and has now stuck a deal with a company ... to repay the debt over the next 5 years in the form of an IVA .The bankagreed after alot of stress to the remortage if his name came off the deeds though . He owes me £5000 personal loans and iput down the entire depoisit on the house down .ijust want to move on with my life now,hehasa room with his newgirlfriend and ihave a new partner, butstill oneday hewantstosellthehousetome ,thenextchanges his mind,he alwaysasks metoborrowmore money ,andrefuses to even now pay for his own solictor ,iamat a completeloss as how to get out of this revolving nightmare.Idon't have alot of spare money enough to go to court and so have to stay in the house while he can come and go bringing whohewants intothe house,Idon'tfeel safe here,but am afraid to leave as he will take over the house , he pays no bills so doesn't care about the costs, idon'twant a bad credit rating so have to keep paying,as hope to buy my own place. He has been emointly blacking me , not exceptingeven after two years of splitting up that idon't want him back ,i'm tryingto betough but need advice as i can't trust him to keep his word to sell , but need to move on with my life Ineed toforce a sale as this mental torture and threats are having an impact on my health , he has pushed me and threatened to burn the house down , even infront of my boyfriend . i have no idea how to move forward . . please help
Ska - 7-Oct-18 @ 1:59 AM
Hi. I would like some advise on forcing a sale? My partner still pays half the mortgage from a house he owns with his ex wife. He hasn't lived in the property for 4 years but still pays half. His ex wife and daughter live there with her new partner. My partner no longer wants to pay half and wants to sell the house. His ex wife and new partner can't afford to buy him out. Can he force her to sell it? Please help
Debbie - 30-Sep-18 @ 3:04 PM
My partner and I brought in joint names just last year. He violently attacked me a few months ago and will be sentenced next month. My solicitor has written to his solicitor regarding the house. By law he cannot ever come back there (for my protection) he has not paid anything towards the mortgage for the last 3 months. As this a domestic abuse case, is there any way of having him legally removed from the deeds?
E.Reed - 30-Sep-18 @ 8:50 AM
I jointly bought a house with my Partner in July 2015. I put £130,000 into the purchase and she put approximately £40,000 into the Purchase. We have now split up but are currently house sharing. So in the near future we will be selling the house and going our separate ways. So my question is am I entitled to get my £130,000 back out of the sale of the house, which is worth about £275,000 or will we have to split the profits 50/50 ??
Steve - 19-Sep-18 @ 8:26 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • son
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    my ex parther want me to sell our family home or buy him out . i would like to stay in my home . dont know wot to do ...
    19 August 2019
  • SouM
    Re: Buy Out The Mortgage From Your Ex
    Me and my ex partner (not married) own a house as tenants in common. He has put 80% of the deposit and I have put 20%. We…
    10 August 2019
  • NIC
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi i left my ex 4 years ago and I remained in the jointly owned property with our 2 kids. Since we split I have paid the…
    3 August 2019
  • Minam
    Re: Should You Tell Your Ex You're Dating Again?
    I don't want my ex back but I feel sorry for him he always cry for and I've found someone new .I broke up…
    11 July 2019
  • Mrs Jennifer Swift
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi I split up with my partner 2 years ago and moved out, we have 2 children together, we agreed on splitting everything down the…
    8 July 2019
  • Oli
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    My wife and I are separated. Have two children. She lives in the house we jointly own with our children. Up until late last…
    23 June 2019
  • Juju
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    A friend brought his house with his then girlfriend 10years ago. She left after 2 years never paying anything but he now wants…
    10 June 2019
  • Shelley
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    I have been separated from my husband for 5 years.He wont sign divorce papers and my name is on mortgage.How can I get my divorce
    9 June 2019
  • Lawrence Ham
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    my wife has a house with her ex, (not married) she wants out of the mortgage so we can move forward. How do we get her name off…
    21 May 2019
  • Tara
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi there I have a slight problem with my partner we always angry with each other we live in the same house but not as partner I…
    13 May 2019