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Disputes with co-owners of property

View profile for Natalie Neil
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Property is the most valuable asset that you own and in these tough times when getting on the housing ladder is becoming more and more difficult, co-ownership may become an attractive proposition.

When a property is to be bought by two or more owners it should be made clear how the beneficial interest is to be held – ie – who has what share in the property. If a property is to be held as joint tenants (co-owners to have equal shares) if one person should die the other automatically becomes the sole owner by inheriting the property of the deceased. Tenants in common is the term used when the finance for the property has been provided in unequal shares and the right of survivorship does not apply.

Disputes will often arise when one owner wishes to sell the property and the other owner does not – particularly if a couple are living together but not married to each other and have split up. It can also be when both parties agree on the sale of the property but cannot agree on 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 becasue they have contributed to the purchase price. They may have made mortgage payments or paid for renovations to the property. However, if your name is not on the title deeds you will need to prove your claim on the property.

Natalie Crowhurst, Conveyancing Executive, says ” In general, if one of the co-owners wishes to sell the property, the other owner/s must comply or agree to buy out their share. 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 sought from a Family lawyer as different rules apply.”

For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Natalie or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.