06, June, 2023

My house is in my ex’s name – What are my rights?

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Do I have any rights if my house is in my ex’s name?
Yes you do. You can claim your right by applying for a matrimonial home rights notice, which is free to do.

Two of the most stressful events that you can experience in your life are moving house and going through a divorce. Having to deal with them at the same time is a huge amount of pressure, especially if you’re not sure where you stand. At We Buy Any House, we have compiled some important information to try and ease the process for you.

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Do I have any rights to the property?

If the property you live in together is in your ex-partner’s name, it’s understandable to be concerned about your rights to the house. There are a few things that you can do to register your interest and investment in the property so you’re not pushed out of the proceedings.

You need to find out if the property is registered at the Land Registry first.

If it is, you’re able to protect yourself with a matrimonial home rights notice. These are free to apply for, and an easy process; all you need is your ex-partner’s name and the title number of the property.

If the property isn’t registered, there’s no need to panic. You can apply for a Class F land charge with the Land Registry. This isn’t free, but the fee for the form is only £1, so it’s very manageable.

With either of these notices, it will ensure that your ex cannot sell the property or increase the mortgage without you being notified first which gives you time to dispute the decision.

Am I liable for the mortgage?

Even if your name isn’t on the title deeds to the house, it may be on the mortgage agreement if you made a joint application and have been contributing to the monthly payments. If your name is on the mortgage agreement, then yes, you could be liable for the full debt if your ex-partner was to stop paying. The forms above are very helpful to make sure your ex-partner isn’t taking out any sort of secured loans against the property or extending the mortgage without your knowledge and consent, as this could be detrimental to you.

You should contact your mortgage lender and make them aware that you’re no longer with your ex-partner, so if there are any problems with the monthly payments, you’re not fully responsible.

The short answer is that they cannot legally just kick you out of the property. You usually have the right to stay in the home providing-

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership
  • You’re named on the deed/tenancy

If you’re married, you have the right to stay in the house even if your name isn’t on the title deeds and they own the property fully. You can register for your matrimonial home rights, which will put your name on the information for the house so that banks and the Land Registry can see that you have a connection and therefore a right to the house. Even if you haven’t made financial contributions to the house if it is a marital asset you are still entitled to your percentage of the home.

It is worth knowing that this can be complicated if your ex-partner is not the sole owner of the house, and is co-owning with a friend or family member. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice for more support.

What if we weren’t married?

If you’re not married, you don’t need to panic. There is still another option for you to show your legal right to stay in the house. You are able to apply for an occupation order if there was any domestic violence, which will last for 6 months and can be renewed. This is especially helpful if you have nowhere else to go but your ex-partner does, as you can receive the rights for you to stay in the house whilst they are restricted from entering the area.

If you and your ex-partner are looking for an amicable solution, want to sell the property, split the proceeds and go your separate ways, We Buy Any House may be able to help get things moving.

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