Joint Ownership

***Update – You can read my latest article on how to force the sale of a jointly owned property here.***

Unfortunately, disputes between joint owners who have fallen out with one another are quite common.

You may own property jointly with a former partner, a sibling, or perhaps a business associate.

Selling Up And Moving On?

When the relationship breaks down it’s often the case that the parties’ plans for the property are quite different.

One may wish to stay and live there, while the other may wish to sell up and move on.

Disputes arise at to whether that should happen, and if it does in what proportions the proceeds of sale should be distributed.

Common issues arise where unmarried couples have been cohabiting, only to part ways.

Who Gets What

As property can be owned both legally and beneficially, even if one of the parties does not legally own it on paper, they may be able to claim joint ownership  if there is evidence to show that they have an interest in the property.

This is most easily established by showing that they have been contributing towards the mortgage,  or they’ve paid for an extension for example.


Essentially we’re talking about proving some monetary detriment.  So in addition to paying the mortgage, or for extension works to be carried out, a party will establish an interest in a property if they contributed towards the purchase price.

Going To Court

In most cases a few carefully worded letters can resolve the situation.

An agreement can be reached for one party to buy the other out, or the property to be sold and any outstanding mortgage to be paid off.

But if there are disputes about the amount of each party’s ownership, or whether the property should be sold, the court’s intervention might be required.

The court can make an order setting out the extent to which someone has an interest in a property, and/or make an order that the property should be sold with the parties being paid their share of the property from the sale proceeds.

Final Thoughts

Although, as I say, a few letters should do the trick, it can be the case that one party will just bury his or her head in the sand.  In that situation a bit more effort might be required to resolve things.

Fortunately, it’s all relatively straightforward.

Get In Touch

If you have a joint ownership dispute and you’d like to discuss it you can call me now on 020 7842 1452 .  Alternatively, email me at: or complete a Free Online Enquiry and I’ll get in touch as soon as I can for a chat about your legal rights and options.  There’s no cost or obligation.

Make An Enquiry

Call Free On: 020 7842 1452 or complete this short enquiry form (no cost or obligation):

1 Step 1
First Name
Telephone Number
Brief Details
0 /


“Attentive, professional and matter of fact…”

“Straightforward and practical advice…”

“I’d recommend you get in touch with him…”

Click to

Why Get In Touch?

Property Disputes Specialist

Member of the Law Society of England & Wales

Member of the Property Litigation Association

Click to Read More >>>>

Contact Details

Ian McEwan

Phone: 020 7842 1452