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Divorce Solicitor Informs Unmarried Client She'll Get 50% of the Property Value

19 July 2013

Divorce Solicitor Sarah Thompson recently concluded a case for a client who had paid £4,000 towards the purchase of a converted barn, her boyfriend had contributed £104,000 and the rest of the purchase price was raised by way of a mortgage.

When the property was purchased they both went on the title deeds and signed the TR1 Form, which is the legal document transferring the property from the previous owners to the new owners.  

When they completed the TR1 Form they had the option of declaring how they intended to hold the property; it was going to be held jointly in any event, the question was whether the boyfriend was wanting to protect his much larger investment.

Whether it was out of love or ignorance they ticked the box confirming that they would hold the property as Joint Tenants. This means that if one of them were to die, their share would automatically pass to the survivor, it also assumes a 50:50 split.

Sadly the couple split up and they decided to sell the property. The boyfriend wanted his initial £104,000 investment back, my client could have her £4,000 then any profit would be split equally between them both. She came to me for legal advice.

I advised her that as she is unmarried, her answer lies in the strict interpretation of the Law of Property. As such, had her boyfriend wanted to protect his investment the time to have done it was when they were completing the TR1 Form. It was therefore too late for the boyfriend to do anything about it. She would be getting 50% of the net proceeds of the sale of the property.

If you find yourself a similar position and are contributing money towards the deposit on a property for either yourself or someone else (e.g. a relative), make sure that you protect your legal position by filling out the TR1 correctly.  

For related information see living together and home ownership and cohabitation agreements.

Sarah Thompson is a Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.