Disputes with Co-Owners

If the disputing Co-owners are married to each other or if not married, are the parents of a child who lives with them - advice should be taken from a Family lawyer as different rules will apply.
Co-ownership disputes will often be about one owner wanting to sell the property and the other wanting to remain in the property - particularly if a couple living together (but not married to each other) have split up. It can also be when both parties agree the property should be sold but cannot agree what share of the equity each should take.

Disputes can be over a property which is registered in one persons name but a second person is claiming an entitlement to a share of the ownership because they have e.g. contributed to the purchase price; paid the mortgage payments; carried out or paid for extensive work on the property.

The starting point will always be the title deeds. If you are not on the Deeds, you will need to prove that you have acquired a claim on the property. Did you enter into a Declaration of Trust when you bought? If you did that should help clarify matters. For information on Declarations of Trust click here.

If you are named in the title deeds as being one of the joint owners, the next question is do you hold it in equal shares (joint tenants) or in defined and generally unequal shares (tenants in common). How the property will be dealt with will differ depending on that answer.

Generally speaking, if one of the co-owners wants to sell the property, the other co-owners must comply or agree to buy out their share. Who has been paying the mortgage and insurance will also have a bearing on how the net equity will be divided. Net equity is the sum remaining after you take the sale price and deduct the mortgage redemption figure, the Estate Agents fees and the solicitor's conveyancing costs.

We can advise you on your options and work with you to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. if Court action is unavoidable, we can guide you through that and ensure your case is thoroughly investigated and effectively presented.