Splitting up and proceeds from a joint mortgage

Hi everyone 

A very good friend of mine is going through a bit of a rough patch in life. 

Basically he split up with his long term partner who he was with for 7 years. They both moved in together, but my friend (Keith) owned the house outright having inherited some money from his dad. They then moved to another house 4 years ago and again, Keith bought it outright in his name.

18 months later they decided to do renovations and needed a cash injection. They therefore applied for a joint mortgage for £50k. For context the house was at that time worth approx £190k. The mortgage repayment was split where 25% was paid by Keith and 75% his partner. 

Sadly his partner left him out of the blue for someone else 4 months ago, so Keith put the house on the market. It is now sold pending exchange of contracts for £260k. The mortgage repayments are still being paid in the same way.

Keith felt that he could just repay his monthly payments made from the proceeds, or worse case give him a share of the increased equity from his stake (ie if he had £25k invested on a 190k house originally). 

He has now been contacted by the ex though who is demanding 50% of the full proceeds. It’s come as a total shock to Keith and he doesn’t appear to realise what he’s potentially signed up to! 

I am not overly familiar with mortgages, but from everything I’ve read online it would appear he probably is indeed entitled to 50%. It also seems that joint mortgages require 50/50 equity to be considered, so in the eyes of the law he already had that amount of equity.

If anyone can give any advice/confirmation on the matter that would be really appreciated. Likewise, if there’s anything he can do to fight his corner, ideas welcomed.

I have obviously said he needs to get proper legal advice, but that’s not going to be until Thursday next week. Sadly he’s experiencing severe depression since the break up, so I’m trying to help where I can.

Many thanks


  • Edi81
    Edi81 Posts: 1,426
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    It’s not the mortgage that is the issue. When they bought the new place what shares did they own it in? Joint tenants or tenants in common?
    was any discussion done at the time on “what if?”  
  • If they're not tenants in common with a deed of trust to define their share then the starting point is 50/50 and they'll need to agree anything different (or have a judge decide).
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