Q: My ex-partner and I split up more than a year ago after living together for six years. It was all very amicable and I agreed to move out and let her stay in the house we jointly own, until it was sold. The house went on the market straight away and I went into rented accommodation.
We both put an equal amount into the house when we bought it and I have continued to pay half the mortgage as well as paying my own rent since I moved out. However, the house just isn’t selling and I now want to reduce the price to encourage a sale as I cannot afford to keep servicing two lots of outgoings, but she won’t agree to it. What can I do?
A: It does rather sound as if your ex-partner has little incentive to co-operate as she is currently enjoying the luxury of you funding half the cost of her staying in a house where she is probably very happy.
Unfortunately, as the property is in joint names you must both agree what happens to it, including the sale price. Whatever does happen though, you must not stop paying the mortgage as you are both jointly and severally liable for paying it. Your best course of action would be to attempt mediation and or negotiation and if that fails your only other course of action would be to apply to the Court for an Order of Sale. As you could also apply for costs against your ex for having to do this (although a costs Order is unlikely) the threat of it applying for such orders may persuade her into agreeing a reduced sale price.
Before taking any of the action above you should seek legal advice so that you know you are following the correct steps. Your solicitor could also write to your ex-partner laying out her options and your intentions if she does not co-operate.