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House status following split...

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Mum and her partner decided to buy a house together as a project, it needed full renovation, so she sold her home (owned outright by her, with no mortgage) early last year and bought a do-er upper. The purchase was in joint names (as joint tenants), although the purchase was 100% with the proceeds of the sale, no mortgage. Since then, Mums partner took out a mortgage secured against his other rental property (owned only by him) and started the renovation.

Just before Christmas, my Mum found out that her partner (they're not married by the way) of 10 years has been cheating on her the whole time they've been together. She the most honest, loyal woman. It took her years to allow herself to trust a man again after my Dad putting her through a similar thing many years earlier.

The house is currently an absolute work-in-progress, it's in a terrible state and the cheating ex has downed tools, leaving her to live in the carnage. Mum is pretty distraught by it all, so I'm trying to help her through it and wondering what her position looks like to those that perhaps know more about this than us.

We did propose an idea to repay the cheating ex what he had put into the house so far to allow him to walk away from it, trying to avoid the involvement of solicitors. He seemed to welcome the idea, but isn't really cooperating. I've asked him for a spend-to-date figure, but he has a minimal log of what he has spent as a lot of it was done for 'cash'. I know they're joint tenants, but with clear proof that the purchase was made just 10 months ago, entirely with her money, there isn't a possibility that he could be entitled to a share of the house, is there?

I plan to help Mum get the house more liveable, while she figures out if she can afford to finish it. She doesn't really want to move again. Any practical advice?
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    cnbcnb said:
    I know they're joint tenants, but with clear proof that the purchase was made just 10 months ago, entirely with her money, there isn't a possibility that he could be entitled to a share of the house, is there?
    Of course there is.  They are joint owners - he can claim half the value of the house.
    It's so sad that your mother is in this position - I hope the ex starts to cooperate.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Absolutely, she signed away her right to half the house, possibly even more. If it's a joint tenancy rather than tenants in common and mum dies he get the whole house.

    She needs very careful negotiation to get his agreement to be removed from the deeds in exchange for a sum to "compensate" him for the value of his work.

    Backed by a solicitor who can word the agreement carefully. And she's not going to have a leg to stand on if he kicks off. I suggest you don't do anything mean time that increases the value of the house. As a busted renovation project, his share is worth less.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • cnbcnbcnbcnb Forumite
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    Mojisola said:
    cnbcnb said:
    I know they're joint tenants, but with clear proof that the purchase was made just 10 months ago, entirely with her money, there isn't a possibility that he could be entitled to a share of the house, is there?
    Of course there is.  They are joint owners - he can claim half the value of the house.
    It's so sad that your mother is in this position - I hope the ex starts to cooperate.
    It worries me as to how/why it ended up this way. The conveyancing solicitor surely would have advised her of the pitfalls, given how obvious the funding of the purchase was? Should I be raising a question with them?

    Perhaps she had to sign a disclaimer? He was a controlling man, I'm hoping he didn't coerce her into this.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Was there any sort of trust deed organised? Suggest mum goes back to the lawyer and takes a friend. However, it could just have been a conveyancer.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • cnbcnbcnbcnb Forumite
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    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.
  • edited 13 January at 10:38PM
    sassybluesassyblue Forumite
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    edited 13 January at 10:38PM
    cnbcnb said:
    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.
    Was the sale of your mums property and the purchase of the do-er upper all handled at the same time by the same solicitor? Or did her property sell first and she had the funds in an account and later purchased the doer upper?

    Its really important because if the sale and purchase happened together, your mums partner would not have been able to be involved in the sale as it wasn’t his property.  Therefore, it would have been her SALES solicitor who could have warned her about the 
    Pitfalls of investing HER monies with her partner in another purchase.

    You say her partner handled it all but that’s not a defence I’m afraid (unless the purchase solicitor was unscrupulous which is unlikely), the purchase would have been in joint names and its important to know where the funds came from, seamless from the sale of her property, in an account in her sole name or did she put it in a joint account?  

    You say it’s terrifying someone can sign half their money away in one signature but it wouldn’t have been one signature and because a solicitor was involved they would have been satisfied your mum was fully aware of what she was doing unless they were unscrupulous as I said which is unlikely, or her partner really hoodwinked her somehow.


    Happy moneysaving all.
  • edited 14 January at 9:09AM
    74jax74jax Forumite
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    edited 14 January at 9:09AM
    sassyblue said:
    cnbcnb said:
    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.

    You say it’s terrifying someone can sign half their money away in one signature but it wouldn’t have been one signature and because a solicitor was involved they would have been satisfied your mum was fully aware of what she was doing unless they were unscrupulous as I said which is unlikely, or her partner really hoodwinked her somehow.
    I completely agree with above. 
    OP if you were your mums ex, and signed to jointly own a house, would you not think it more 'terrifying' that down the line the 2nd person who owned the house could decide nope, you don't own half after all? 
    I think your mum had been sadly cheated on and now you are trying to get out of a legal contract which, well is legal.....
    She signed it owning it jointly, happy at the time. Because she has changed her mind now doesn't alter that.

    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • cnbcnbcnbcnb Forumite
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    sassyblue said:
    cnbcnb said:
    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.
    Was the sale of your mums property and the purchase of the do-er upper all handled at the same time by the same solicitor? Or did her property sell first and she had the funds in an account and later purchased the doer upper?

    Its really important because if the sale and purchase happened together, your mums partner would not have been able to be involved in the sale as it wasn’t his property.  Therefore, it would have been her SALES solicitor who could have warned her about the 
    Pitfalls of investing HER monies with her partner in another purchase.

    You say her partner handled it all but that’s not a defence I’m afraid (unless the purchase solicitor was unscrupulous which is unlikely), the purchase would have been in joint names and its important to know where the funds came from, seamless from the sale of her property, in an account in her sole name or did she put it in a joint account?  

    You say it’s terrifying someone can sign half their money away in one signature but it wouldn’t have been one signature and because a solicitor was involved they would have been satisfied your mum was fully aware of what she was doing unless they were unscrupulous as I said which is unlikely, or her partner really hoodwinked her somehow.
    The sale and purchase were handled by the same solicitor. The sales invoice is entirely in Mums name, it shows the balance of her sale which is then carried across onto the purchase invoice. At no point were any other funds introduced, in fact there was a small residual balance at the end, which I presume came back as a refund.

    When I say that her partner handled it all, I only mean that he took the lead. I'm not saying she wasn't at all involved, and I'm not saying she didn't sign the paperwork, but he was the driving force. She trusted him explicitly at the time, of course she did, but she's not completely ignorant and that's why this is hard to unravel. It was the same with my property when my Wife and I bought it.

    I'm reassured by your comment about not being able to sign it away just on one signature, I'm not as ignorant as some here might think. I'm trying to quiz my Mum to find out what her state of mind was. I'm also suspicious of the solicitors reluctance to provide any of the paperwork. I think they're a fairly respectable company, but my Mum is fairly sensible and so I can't figure out how/why she would have agreed to purchase the new home in this way if it had been explained to her and that's all I'm trying to get to the bottom of.
  • cnbcnbcnbcnb Forumite
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    74jax said:
    sassyblue said:
    cnbcnb said:
    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.

    You say it’s terrifying someone can sign half their money away in one signature but it wouldn’t have been one signature and because a solicitor was involved they would have been satisfied your mum was fully aware of what she was doing unless they were unscrupulous as I said which is unlikely, or her partner really hoodwinked her somehow.
    I completely agree with above. 
    OP if you were your mums ex, and signed to jointly own a house, would you not think it more 'terrifying' that down the line the 2nd person who owned the house could decide nope, you don't own half after all? 
    I think your mum had been sadly cheated on and now you are trying to get out of a legal contract which, well is legal.....
    She signed it owning it jointly, happy at the time. Because she has changed her mind now doesn't alter that.

    I know, in law, it's not as clear cut as that and I also know that, in the same circumstances you wouldn't walk away and say 'oh well' without investigating it, as you seem to be suggesting.
  • TokmonTokmon Forumite
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    cnbcnb said:
    sassyblue said:
    cnbcnb said:
    I've asked the conveyancer for copies of the paperwork, she doesn't appear to have anything as her other half handled it all. I would like for her to see the form she signed in the hope she can recall the circumstances.

    It's all starting to look quite worrying. I find it terrifying that one can potentially sign half of their home away on one signature, yet if you want to go into a branch to draw £1000 out you get the Spanish inquisition.

    Hoping he doesn't stick the knife in harder than he already has.
    Was the sale of your mums property and the purchase of the do-er upper all handled at the same time by the same solicitor? Or did her property sell first and she had the funds in an account and later purchased the doer upper?

    Its really important because if the sale and purchase happened together, your mums partner would not have been able to be involved in the sale as it wasn’t his property.  Therefore, it would have been her SALES solicitor who could have warned her about the 
    Pitfalls of investing HER monies with her partner in another purchase.

    You say her partner handled it all but that’s not a defence I’m afraid (unless the purchase solicitor was unscrupulous which is unlikely), the purchase would have been in joint names and its important to know where the funds came from, seamless from the sale of her property, in an account in her sole name or did she put it in a joint account?  

    You say it’s terrifying someone can sign half their money away in one signature but it wouldn’t have been one signature and because a solicitor was involved they would have been satisfied your mum was fully aware of what she was doing unless they were unscrupulous as I said which is unlikely, or her partner really hoodwinked her somehow.
    The sale and purchase were handled by the same solicitor. The sales invoice is entirely in Mums name, it shows the balance of her sale which is then carried across onto the purchase invoice. At no point were any other funds introduced, in fact there was a small residual balance at the end, which I presume came back as a refund.

    When I say that her partner handled it all, I only mean that he took the lead. I'm not saying she wasn't at all involved, and I'm not saying she didn't sign the paperwork, but he was the driving force. She trusted him explicitly at the time, of course she did, but she's not completely ignorant and that's why this is hard to unravel. It was the same with my property when my Wife and I bought it.

    I'm reassured by your comment about not being able to sign it away just on one signature, I'm not as ignorant as some here might think. I'm trying to quiz my Mum to find out what her state of mind was. I'm also suspicious of the solicitors reluctance to provide any of the paperwork. I think they're a fairly respectable company, but my Mum is fairly sensible and so I can't figure out how/why she would have agreed to purchase the new home in this way if it had been explained to her and that's all I'm trying to get to the bottom of.
    Well you said you mum trusted her ex so like most people in long term trusting relationships they don't think the chance of them breaking up is likely. Also the plan was for her ex to pay for all the repairs and organise all the work that needs doing to fix up the house and he isn't going to do this on a house that he doesn't own. At the time i can see why the 50/50 split was agreed because you mum puts all the money in at the start yes but then her ex would have been putting in a lot of work and money over the next however many months/years it would have taken to finish the project. 

    So I'm not too sure why you are so surprised she agreed to buy the house in this way because there is a good explanation why it was done.
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