Living together? Be smart - get advice

Posted: 10th August 2016

HousePersonal relationships do not always end happily and, when it comes to property, it is vital to make an appointment with a solicitor so that you know where you stand legally. In one case in which that sadly did not happen, a man ended up embroiled in a dispute with his ex-partner which cost him £230,000.

The couple had lived together in a £1.1 million house which was in his name alone. After their relationship ended acrimoniously, she claimed a share of the equity in the property. She argued that it had been agreed between them that, although she did not have funds to contribute to the purchase price, the house would be their joint home as partners for life and that her name would eventually be added to the title deeds. She had, for a time, paid towards the property’s outgoings.

The man denied that there had been any such agreement. In upholding his ex-partner’s claim, however, a judge condemned his unpleasant and vindictive refusal to recognise her rights and awarded her £48,765, that sum representing 5.5 per cent of the property’s value. The man was also ordered to pay the £180,000 legal costs of the case.