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Selling the Jointly Owned Home

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Jan 2018 | 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.

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Ant - Your Question:
Hi there, I just need some advice about my home. I have a joint mortgage with my girlfriend. we’ve had the house for just under a year. I’ve just returned home after spending 4 months abroad and my girlfriend has decided she doesn’t want to be with me anymore. She’s already gone and got a mortgage offer in principle to take over the home in her sole name. I am now staying in alternative accommodation. I don’t want to lose the house and haven’t had time yet to get a mortgage offer. what are my rights please.? Can I still keep paying my mortgage and have the same rights as before ? Until I get myself sorted.? Thanks for your help

Our Response:
If you have a joint mortgage you both have an equal say over what happens to it. A mediation service might be the best way to progress this.
RecentlySeparated - 19-Jan-18 @ 2:23 PM
4 years ago I agreed to get a joint mortgage with my mother in order for her to be able to buy a home which I said verbally at the time I would only agree if she would be able to afford the home on her own which she said she would (I had just turned 18 at the time and still trusted her assurances back then), as it was a very small mortgage after a couple of years she should have been able to take it on solely based on her earnings as it would then fall within the 4x her salary. 3 years ago she then got herself in to heaps of debt and took out an IVA now making her unable to remortgage for 5-8 years. I'm now looking to buy my own home with my partner however we are financially unable to while I am still on a mortgage with my mum and she refuses to do anything about the situation. Do I have the right to force her to sell if she is refusing to in order to remove myself from the mortgage?
Unusual - 18-Jan-18 @ 12:02 PM
Hi there, I just need some advice about my home. I have a joint mortgage with my girlfriend .. we’ve had the house for just under a year .. I’ve just returned home after spending 4 months abroad and my girlfriend has decided she doesn’t want to be with me anymore. She’s already gone and got a mortgage offer in principle to take over the home in her sole name .. I am now staying in alternative accommodation .. I don’t want to lose the house and haven’t had time yet to get a mortgage offer ... what are my rights please..? Can I still keep paying my mortgage and have the same rights as before ? Until I get myself sorted..? Thanks for your help
Ant - 11-Jan-18 @ 11:19 AM
My sister was informed on Christmas Eve that her house was sold, contracts would be signed today 3/1/2018 & she has 7 days to move out. Apparently they can sell it with out her or her estranged partner signing or agreeing to the sale. She went to court at the beginning of November & the court appointed a joint solicitor to deal with the sale but they have not contacted her once. Even the Estate Agent didn’t know. They haven’t asked her for Anything! Her partner got caught in debts & now she is paying for it. They sent him an email so he informed her otherwise she wouldn’t have known! He is only a 20% shareholder, she owns the rest. However she agreed to settle thinking this would clear the debt as they were very aggressive and have hounded her for 10years. Now she will be homeless & penniless!
Tc - 3-Jan-18 @ 10:43 AM
MJF - Your Question:
Hi there.My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his brothers name. We both lived in the house our 2 children for about 4/5 years. The house was in a real mess when we moved in and did a lot to make it a home.In 2015 we put on the market but had no luck selling (Brexit!) we decided to buy his brother out, do some renovations and then put on market again. We remortgaged and bought his brother out. I was on around 14k more a year than my partner, there was no way he would've had mortgage approved without my salary. I was on deeds as tenants in common. We then managed to sell in 2016. When the funds came through from the sale they paid it ALL into my partners account.We separated last year and he is now denying me access to any of he remaining funds and is buying himself a property with it.Where do I stand? All I want to do is be able to buy a house for me and my children so we don't have to rent and chuck money down the drain!

Our Response:
Seek legal advice, the solicitor dealing with the sale should have paid it into a joint account or a holding account until it established the split etc.
RecentlySeparated - 2-Jan-18 @ 3:44 PM
sorry re me message below we were Joint tenants not tenants in common!
MJF - 29-Dec-17 @ 7:45 PM
Hi there. My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his brothers name. We both lived in the house our 2 children for about 4/5 years. The house was in a real mess when we moved in and did a lot to make it a home. In 2015 we put on the market but had no luck selling (Brexit!) we decided to buy his brother out, do some renovations and then put on market again. We remortgaged and bought his brother out. I was on around 14k more a year than my partner, therewas no way he would've had mortgage approved without my salary. I was on deeds as tenants in common. We then managed to sell in 2016. When the funds came through from the sale they paid it ALL into my partners account. We separated last year and he is now denying me access to any of he remaining funds and is buying himself a property with it. Where do I stand? All I want to do is be able to buy a house for me and my children so we don't have to rent and chuck money down the drain!
MJF - 29-Dec-17 @ 7:31 PM
Hi there. My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his brothers name. We both lived in the house our 2 children for about 4/5 years. The house was in a real mess when we moved in and did a lot to make it a home. In 2015 we put on the market but had no luck selling (Brexit!) we decided to buy his brother out, do some renovations and then put on market again. We remortgaged and bought his brother out. I was on around 14k more a year than my partner, therewas no way he would've had mortgage approved without my salary. I was on deeds as tenants in common. We then managed to sell in 2016. When the funds came through from the sale they paid it ALL into my partners account. We separated last year and he is now denying me access to any of he remaining funds and is buying himself a property with it. Where do I stand? All I want to do is be able to buy a house for me and my children so we don't have to rent and chuck money down the drain!
MJF - 29-Dec-17 @ 7:15 PM
Dede - Your Question:
I have bn married 4 years and have 1.5yr old baby boy.We are separated with husband and I have bn push out off the property but still have my furniture and clothes in the houseHe pays off the mortgage and give me 100 pound a week. So my question is if I sell the hse with his permission does the money goes to 1 or 2 pples accountant??? Pls respond asapThank u

Our Response:
Is the home jointly owned?
RecentlySeparated - 19-Dec-17 @ 2:50 PM
Maria - Your Question:
Hi, I have a property in London and at present we are living in Australia. The 3 bedroom semi detached house is in joint name with myself and my husband. I put the down deposit of £40000 and paid all mortgages and bills. I added my husband’s name because of culture and paying respect to him. When we were in London we had two episodes of domestic violence and he was barned from home and punished. Somehow we came Australia ( I brought him under my visa status. Here in Australia also he is behaving very bad and had another two episodes of domestic violence and now he is in jail. Is it possible for me to sell the property in London without his permission if I show the evidence to the court of all what I said above

Our Response:
If you have evidence that the deposit was paid with your money as were all the bills and the mortgage, together with the fact your husband is in jail that may be seen as sufficient. Contact a legal professional.
RecentlySeparated - 18-Dec-17 @ 10:35 AM
I have bn married 4 years and have 1.5yr old baby boy. We are separated with husband and i have bn push out off the property but still have my furniture and clothes in the house He pays off the mortgage and give me 100 pound a week. So my question is if i sell the hse with his permission does the money goes to 1 or 2 pples accountant??? Pls respond asap Thank u
Dede - 17-Dec-17 @ 2:38 PM
Hi, I have a property in London and at present we are living in Australia. The 3 bedroom semi detached house is in joint name with myself and my husband. I put the down deposit of £40000 and paid all mortgages andbills. I added my husband’s name because of culture and paying respect to him.When we were in London we had two episodes of domestic violence and he was barned from home and punished. Somehow we came Australia ( I brought him under my visa status . Here in Australia also heis behaving very bad and had another two episodes of domestic violence and now he is in jail. Is it possible for me to sell the property in London without his permission if I show the evidence to the court of all what I said above
Maria - 15-Dec-17 @ 3:55 AM
Hi, I recently found out that my ex-girlfriend who used to love me was put under a love spell by an old married man. They considered themselves as bf/gf. It really broke me. I was really worried about her as to what could happen to her. I still loved her. We were in a ldr and I couldn't see her… We still communicated from time to time but she made sure she doesn’t get found out by the man. It got frustrating as how she cannot see past the spell! I really wanted her back and also to be safe first and foremost and be away from that man. I also met Dr. Akim online and he helped me break the blackmagic on her and in 40 hours she called me and begged me to take her back. Akim's email is uniquelovespellcenter @ yahoo . com will be much appreciated if you contact him for marriage and relationship problems cos i promised to talk about him all over the internet :)
johnthom612 - 14-Dec-17 @ 11:51 PM
Stacey - Your Question:
Hi, I’ve been separated from my husband for 7 years, I am on the mortgage but not the deeds to our home can he sell this without me knowing? Thanks

Our Response:
Check this out. Usually a mortgage provider will not lend to anyone whose name is not on the deeds.
RecentlySeparated - 12-Dec-17 @ 2:26 PM
househusband- Your Question:
I have been married for 7 years, and I have just found out my wife has had 3 affairs in October, she has said she wants to separate and divorce after finding Mr Right.Because of Mr right we can not fix our relationship, she does not know I know she has been cheating yet. Solistiter said I should ask to buy her out as I look after the children 70% of the time and all she does when she is not at work is see this guy.Our house was £83,000 in Nov 2013 I had a flat before we got married which I sold when we were maried to buy the house and I put in £38.000 or £40.000 as deposit, we have shared all bill since then.How much will it cost or what should the offer be to buy her out?

Our Response:
We can't give specific information like this unfortunately. If you can't agree this between you, mediation might help, or your solicitors might be able to help you agree on a settlement. If not, then you may have to apply to the courts for a financial order.
RecentlySeparated - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:31 AM
Hi, I’ve been separated from my husband for 7 years, I am on the mortgage but not the deeds to our home can he sell this without me knowing? Thanks
Stacey - 11-Dec-17 @ 12:35 AM
I have been married for 7 years, and I have just found out my wife has had 3 affairs in October, she has said she wants to separate and divorce after finding Mr Right. Because of Mr right we can not fix our relationship, she does not know I know she has been cheating yet. Solistiter said I should ask to buy her out as I look after the children 70% of the time and all she does when she is not at work is see this guy. Our house was £83,000 in Nov 2013 I had a flat before we got married which I sold when we were maried to buy the house and I put in £38.000 or £40.000 as deposit, we have shared all bill since then. How much will it cost or what should the offer be to buy her out?
househusband - 10-Dec-17 @ 10:27 AM
FlatChop - Your Question:
Mine and my partners names are both on the house deeds and we jointly own the mortgage. He has always paid the mortgage whilst I have paid the bills (that was the agreement since the start). Since we split we decided to sell the house and without my knowledge, he decreased the asking price by £10k and then accepted an offer without my knowledge at a total of £15k below the original asking price. Do I have a case against him and/or the letting agency who were aware of the negative situation between us and told to contact us both with any change.

Our Response:
If your names were both on the deeds, your joint signatures will be required at any point of sale. You can prevent the sale going ahead on this basis. Speak to the estate agent.
RecentlySeparated - 22-Nov-17 @ 2:56 PM
I have recently split with my partner we have a joint mortgage. I put 20000 pound which was gifted by my parents and I have paid the mortgage since we moved in. We have two small children and I am thinking to take it through a court to try get as much as the equity as I can. What would be your opinion
Marky - 22-Nov-17 @ 2:28 PM
Mine and my partners names are both on the house deeds and we jointly own the mortgage. He has always paid the mortgage whilst I have paid the bills (that was the agreement since the start). Since we split we decided to sell the house and without my knowledge, he decreased the asking price by £10k and then accepted an offer without my knowledge at a total of £15k below the original asking price. Do I have a case against him and/or the letting agency who were aware of the negative situation between us and told to contact us both with any change.
FlatChop - 18-Nov-17 @ 3:43 PM
MB - Your Question:
I'm in a civil partnership and we own a flat with a 30/70 percent split in my partner's favour. We are separating, and he has gone ahead and put the flat on the market. Firstly, no one has approached me and asked for my permission to put it on the market; secondly, my partner says I will get nothing from the sale. The mortgage payments have been coming out of his account, and I have been paying him £300 a month (amounting to £12k since we bought the flat). Can I assume that the sale cannot go through without my permission and getting the 30% split?

Our Response:
We assume both names are on the deeds and that you have a record of your payment? If so, then you should receive 30% of whatever equity is released from a sale of the property.
RecentlySeparated - 17-Nov-17 @ 3:18 PM
I'm in a civil partnership and we own a flat with a 30/70 percent split in my partner's favour. We are separating, and he has gone ahead and put the flat on the market. Firstly, no one has approached me and asked for my permission to put it on the market; secondly, my partner says I will get nothing from the sale. The mortgage payments have been coming out of his account, and I have been paying him £300 a month (amounting to £12k since we bought the flat). Can I assume that the sale cannot go through without my permission and getting the 30% split?
MB - 16-Nov-17 @ 9:17 PM
Hi, I have been Divorced for 20 years. My ex husbands name is still on the deeds. He never paid the mortgage I did.By working very hard and bringing our four daughters.I want to sell the house now.Can I do this with his verbal consent? S
Mudge - 11-Nov-17 @ 10:55 AM
Teajay - Your Question:
I am divorced after being separated for over 10 years. when I left the marital home it was agreed that the house would be sold once my children were over 18.they are both way over 18 now and despite sending solicitors letters (costing me around £300.00) my ex refused to reply or respond to the mediation service. my solicitor then advised me that the next steps could be expensive anywhere between £4000.00 to £8000.00 as I explained to him at the start of the process, I am not a wealthy man, so frustratingly I could not continue with any actions. PLEASE HELP!

Our Response:
Find out how much it would cost to apply directly to court (without legal representation)...it might be less expensive than using a solicitor. Do you have any evidence/documentation as proof of the agreement?
RecentlySeparated - 7-Nov-17 @ 12:20 PM
I am divorced after being separated for over 10 years. when i left the marital home it was agreed that the house would be sold once my children were over 18.they are both way over 18 now and despite sending solicitors letters (costing me around £300.00) my ex refused to reply or respond to the mediation service. my solicitor then advised me that the next steps could be expensive anywhere between £4000.00 to £8000.00 as i explained to him at the start of the process, i am not a wealthy man, so frustratingly i could not continue with any actions... PLEASE HELP!
Teajay - 1-Nov-17 @ 2:59 PM
Klm2 - Your Question:
Hi I have lived with my now ex partner for 8 years. we have a joint mortgage however his parents paid the 20 grand deposit and the mortgage payments have always came out of his account as I fefuse to give him any money due to the fact he is a massive gambler and if I gave him money our 2 children would go without. I have always provided for the children and he has (sometimes) paid bills and (sometimes) not where his parents has bailed us out. but now he is refusing to sell the house with possible profit of 40 grand as he doesnt want to give me anything? Will profit be split or will I leave with nothing thankyou

Our Response:
You should try mediation to work out a financial arrangement. If you have evidence that you provided for the children and were the major carer during your time together, you should be able to work something out that is fair to you. If mediation is unsusccessful, you may be force to take it to the courts where all your circumstances will be considered and the judge will decide whether/how the house should be sold etc.
RecentlySeparated - 24-Oct-17 @ 9:51 AM
Hi I have lived with my now ex partner for 8 years... we have a joint mortgage however his parents paid the 20 grand deposit and the mortgage payments have always came out of his account as i fefuse to give him any money due to the fact he is a massive gambler and if I gave him money our 2 children would go without... I have always provided for the children and he has (sometimes) paid bills and (sometimes) not where his parents has bailed us out... but now he is refusing to sell the house with possible profit of 40 grand as he doesnt want to give me anything? Will profit be split or will I leave with nothing thankyou
Klm2 - 21-Oct-17 @ 10:02 AM
Gbbara - Your Question:
Hi my fiance and I have a house together that her dad paid for us and now we are paying him back every month. I've only got 5% on the house, no reason why but yes that's all I have maybe because I don't really understand all this. She now wants to sell the house as were going on our separate ways. Can she sell the house without my permission please although I only have 5%Thank you

Our Response:
Whose name is the house in? Is your name on the deeds? Sorry there isn't really enough information for us to give individual advice. You'd be better advised to go and see a legal professional if you can, or Citizens' Advice.
RecentlySeparated - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:15 PM
Hi, I’ve recently separated, I stayed in the house paying the joint mortgage. Since I was paying the mortgage I stilled payed child maintenance but I led to believe that I shouldn’t of, is that right? do I have a claim to get that money back or not once the house is sold and the proceeds split? Also once I have sold the house and split the proceeds can I get another mortgage with someone else without my wife being able to get any proceeds out of my new mortgage when I finally get a divorce?
Rubber head - 4-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
Hi my fiance and i have a house together that her dad paid for us and now we are paying him back every month. I've only got 5% on the house, no reason why but yes that's all i have maybe because i don't really understand all this.She now wants to sell the house as were going on our separate ways. Can she sell the house without my permission please although i only have 5% Thank you
Gbbara - 4-Oct-17 @ 1:24 PM
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Latest Comments
  • RecentlySeparated
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Ant - Your Question:Hi there, I just need some advice about my home. I have a joint mortgage with my girlfriend. we’ve had the…
    19 January 2018
  • Unusual
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    4 years ago I agreed to get a joint mortgage with my mother in order for her to be able to buy a home which I said verbally at…
    18 January 2018
  • RecentlySeparated
    Re: Dating Again After an Abusive Relationship
    Lillie - Your Question:With a questionSeparated with my husband in2015 because he was physically abusive and…
    17 January 2018
  • Lillie
    Re: Dating Again After an Abusive Relationship
    With a question Separated with my husband in2015 because he was physically abusive and also infidelity,we have…
    15 January 2018
  • Ant
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi there, I just need some advice about my home. I have a joint mortgage with my girlfriend .. we’ve had the house for just…
    11 January 2018
  • RecentlySeparated
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    MJF - Your Question:Hi there.My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his…
    2 January 2018
  • MJF
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    sorry re me message below we were Joint tenants not tenants in common!
    29 December 2017
  • MJF
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi there. My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his brothers name. We…
    29 December 2017
  • MJF
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi there. My partner had a house (which used to be his parents years ago) that was half in his and half his brothers name. We…
    29 December 2017
  • RecentlySeparated
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Dede - Your Question:I have bn married 4 years and have 1.5yr old baby boy.We are separated with husband and I have bn push out…
    19 December 2017
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