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Email: enquiries@sousalaw.co.uk

Property Disputes

You may be purchasing a property as your first home, an investment property or as a business asset.  It may be a joint purchase with your spouse, partner, parents or other family members.  Whatever the circumstances it is important that when jointly purchasing a property all owners consider very carefully how they are to hold the property in order to avoid a future dispute.  The relationship between the owners, their respective contributions and tax implications will all need to be considered when advice is given at the point of property purchase. There are 2 different ways in which you will be able to jointly own a property:

  • Joint Tenants.  The owners do not own any distict share in the property and they share the property equally.  Should one owner die, their share will automatically be left to the surviving owners irrespective of what may be written in their will.
  • Tenants in Common.  The owners will own a specific and distinct share in the property, usually defined as a percentage.  This may either be an equal or an unequal share.  The shares should be clear and detailed within a declaration of trust.  Should one of the owners die their share will pass in accordance with their will or under the rules of intestacy should no will have been made.

Orders for Sale

If you are contemplating divorce proceedings or dissolution of a civil partnership then any order for sale required should be sought within the associated financial proceedings.  Should there be no divorce or dissolution proceedings then an application for sale will usually be made under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA).  Whether applying for or defending an order for sale you should ensure that you receive specialist legal advice from us, especially if the application is made by the mortgagee and there is a risk of repossession

Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA)

There are occasions where the registered legal ownership of a property does not correctly reflect the true ownership (known as the beneficial ownership).  This may be as a consequence of unequal financial contributions towards the property which have not been recorded properly, or perhaps where a non-owner has acquired an interest in the property in some way (a resulting or construtive trust).  In such circumstances it may be necessary to apply to the court for a declaration of ownership, or for an order for sale under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA).  The law in this area is very complex.  The case must be prepared thoroughly and correctly at the outset if it is to have any chance of success.  The case will require specialist knowledge and advice in this area which we are able to provide you with.

We can also provide specialist advice in relation to property disputes under the Family Law Act 1996, Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 and Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.  For more detailed advice please contact us on 02380 713060 for a free initial consulatation.