Joint Ownership Woes

"Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Unlocking the Legal Puzzle of Jointly Owned UK Properties. Sell, Stay, or Settle – We've Got Your Back!

Aurora Assist can provide legal assistance in the situation where property is jointly owned in the UK. If one co-owner wants to sell the property and the other(s) do not, there are specific legal procedures that can be followed to resolve the situation.

In the UK, there are two common forms of joint ownership: "tenancy in common" and "joint tenancy." In a tenancy in common, each owner holds a specific share of the property, and if one owner wishes to sell their share or force the sale of the entire property, they can apply to the court for an Order for sale. On the other hand, in a joint tenancy, all owners collectively own the entire property, and if one owner wants to sell, they must convert the joint tenancy into a tenancy in common by applying for a notice of severance and informing the Land Registry to amend the property title.

To change a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common, the process depends on whether the other owner(s) agree to the change or not. If all owners agree, it is a simple process of completing the necessary forms and submitting them to the HM Land Registry. However, if the other owners do not agree, additional steps need to be taken, such as serving a notice of severance and submitting the required forms and supporting documents to the Land Registry.

If one co-owner wants to sell a jointly owned property and the others do not agree, the co-owner seeking to sell can apply for an order for sale. The process involves completing an N208 form and providing evidence of ownership, details of outstanding debt, an estimated sale price, and a witness statement explaining the circumstances of the other owners. The form is submitted to the county court, which will then make a judgment. If the order for sale is granted, the property can be sold, and specific conditions can be attached to the order if requested.

It's important to note that tenants who do not want to sell have the right to oppose the order within 14 days of the date of service. The court can make various orders, including ordering a sale, refusing a sale, ordering a sale with a delay, regulating the right to occupy the property, or partitioning the co-owned property in rare cases.

In situations involving resident dependents, such as children or individuals with severe disabilities, the court may consider factors like their well-being and may order a sale with a delay until certain conditions are met, such as the dependent reaching a certain age or suitable alternative accommodation being arranged.

In cases where an amicable agreement to sell the property can be reached, it is always preferable to avoid court action. Mediation services can be sought to facilitate discussions and help the co-owners reach a mutually agreeable solution. Mediators act as neutral parties who can guide the conversation and promote compromise between the parties involved.

Aurora Assist is available to provide further guidance and support regarding the legal procedures and options for resolving disputes related to jointly owned properties in the UK. It is imperative you seek legal advice.