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Separation Advice

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My nine-year unmarried partner and I recently separated. I moved into his rented house when we initially started dating, after four years, he had saved up enough cash to buy his own place. He had stated that he had worked extremely hard to save for a deposit and that someday the property would go to his daughter (from a previous relationship). At the time I wasn't in a position to take out a mortgage. The house/mortgage was therefore "his," and for the five years that we have resided there, I have covered the expenses.

We've split up rather amicably; I've moved out, and he's allowing me to "store" my belongings there till I can figure things out, which ought to be a short while! I want to know if I have any rights at all. Not to the property, but I'm wondering whether I have any rights now that I've paid the bills for five years and am leaving with nothing, and if it would be worth fighting for?

Any help and advice would be much appreciated :smile:
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  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,476 Forumite
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    To have any rights now, you would have had to have been married and/or have made payments towards the mortgage. 
  • EleanorKay123
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    I have read online, that I could be eligible to rights as I have contributed to other bills (not just mortgage payments), and marriage not making any difference. Just seems like an absolute mind field.
  • Caz3121
    Caz3121 Posts: 15,590 Forumite
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    did you pay for any improvements to the property - new kitchen, bathroom, windows etc? 
    when you say you have "covered the expenses" does that mean you have paid 100% of the council tax, gas, electric, broadband, food etc?

  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,215 Forumite
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    If you paid all the other expenses (Council Tax, Water, Electricity, Gas, etc) then it seems not unreasonable that you might have acquired a beneficial interest in the property, but if your partner wanted to you have that beneficial interest, they could have allowed you to pay half the mortgage in exchange for them paying half the bills, so you need to consider whether your partner actvely didn't want you to have this interest - it sounds like they didn't really want you to have it - they wanted the entire property to go to their daughter, so I think you will find it harder than most to persuade a court that you have a beneficial interest.

    You might benefit from speaking to a solictor. The solicitor will give you an idea of how much it might costs to prove and enforce any rights you might  have.

    You also need to consider whether your Ex could pay you anything without having to sell the house. The issue many also depend on whether you were paying him any rent to live there. If you were paying rent, I would expect you would have been paying less than half his mortgage, as you needed to be investing the difference to make up for the fact that you weren't investing in a property yourself. You seem to have done badly out of the arrangement (i.e. been disadvantaged by it if you were paying half the mortgage as rent). 


    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • caprikid1
    caprikid1 Posts: 2,178 Forumite
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    Sorry but how did you pay the money ? IE a fixed amount in to a joint back account, How much were the bills ? how much was the mortgage ?

    Can you clearly show you contributed more than the bills ?

    If you had not been in a position to buy surely you are now worse of than if you had rented ? You would have still come out with nothing.

    What level of increase in house value over 5 years ?

  • saajan_12
    saajan_12 Posts: 3,853 Forumite
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    My nine-year unmarried partner and I recently separated. I moved into his rented house when we initially started dating, after four years, he had saved up enough cash to buy his own place. He had stated that he had worked extremely hard to save for a deposit and that someday the property would go to his daughter (from a previous relationship). At the time I wasn't in a position to take out a mortgage. The house/mortgage was therefore "his," and for the five years that we have resided there, I have covered the expenses.

    We've split up rather amicably; I've moved out, and he's allowing me to "store" my belongings there till I can figure things out, which ought to be a short while! I want to know if I have any rights at all. Not to the property, but I'm wondering whether I have any rights now that I've paid the bills for five years and am leaving with nothing, and if it would be worth fighting for?

    Any help and advice would be much appreciated :smile:
    What exactly does "covered the expenses" mean?
    - 100% or 50%? 
    - utilities? mortgage? food / incidentals?
    - maintenance / capital improvements? 

    There's 2 ways of looking at things,
    1) If you continued to rent then you'd have paid that anyway with no claim on the LL's property. Other than a house move, was it really any different for you vs renting? If say partner retained all the risk, major maintenance etc. 

    2) The part of your payments that reduced the capital owed on the mortgage enriched partner. Arguably you should have that back, either as the same £ amount or as a % in the property, accounting for any increase. The other bills including mortgage interest were essentially the running cost of a house of that footprint as you lived there. 

    Ultimately depending on the answer to the above question, it should be somewhere between those options. There's no clear cut right. 
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,215 Forumite
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    Once you have a handle on how much you think you have contributed and in what ways, you need to consider how to broach the subject with your ex-partner. It might be worthwhile suggesting that you think you are entitled to something, but that you want to discuss it when he has time to think about how he feels about it. Give him a week to make some notes on his thoughts while you do the same, and then try to discuss it with an open mind. If you realise that you have very different ideas as to what might be fair, suggest that you use a professional mediator to help you discuss the issues some more.  
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Stateofart
    Stateofart Posts: 309 Forumite
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    You're probably eligible for some back, but not sure I would be too bothered for the sake of a small portion of five year's mortgage, especially with legal costs.  I would just be happy I'm out without incurring any real costs.
  • Jemma01
    Jemma01 Posts: 165 Forumite
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    When you lived with him, did you pay him rent? Before you moved in with him, how much did you spend on rent and bills? Was it cheaper for you to move in with him? And what was the difference in pay for you before and after you moved in? Were you able to save money cuz now you don't pay rent?

    Note:
    I'm FTB, not an expert, all my comments are from personal experience and not a professional advice.
  • Kynthia
    Kynthia Posts: 5,672 Forumite
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    As you're not married you can only take him to court if you had a contract that you'd be entitled to a share in the property or if you can prove you qualify for a beneficial interest in it. You clearly didn't have a contract so look into beneficial interest and see whether you think you could prove that to a judge. However you'd have had to pay more than your share of living expenses for a start.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
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