How to Force Sale of A Jointly Owned Property

jointly owned property


The process of selling your property usually causes a considerable amount of stress. If you need to obtain a court order to forced the property to be sold, the complexity and stress increases significantly. The most common reason for a court order to be required is if you and your partner have split up and are not able to agree on selling the property, or if you are no longer able to afford your mortgage repayments. In some exceptional and unusual situations, a sale of a property may be forced to benefit the local community, but this is very uncommon. Read on to find out how to force the sale of a jointly owned property, and more.

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Splitting up and selling your property

If you have split up with your partner and wish to sell your property, you can apply for a court order if they do not want to sell the property. When you have been given the court order, the court will be able to enforce it if necessary. However, keep in mind that the process is stressful and can take several months to occur. If you want to speed up the process, it may be possible but you will have to provide an explanation to the court as to why the rush is necessary. If it is necessary to sell the property to escape from domestic abuse, it is very likely the sale will be forced must faster than it usually would be.

Forcing sale of a jointly owned property

If you already have a solicitor, you can ask them to apply for the court order, or you are able to apply yourself. You must go to the County Court and request a County Court Judgement (CCJ). A decision will be made by the CCJ on whether or not your request for an order will be accepted. When you have received the order from the CCJ, you are able to apply for the ‘order of sale’, for which you will need to attend a hearing. Your situation will be assessed during the hearing and then you will be informed if your application has been successful.

What will be included in the court order?

The most important information in a court order of sale will be details on why one side has not agreed to sell the property. If the person you have split up with refuses to give a reason for why they do not want the sale to happen, then the court will simply force them to agree.

Failure to resolve the issue

If you have separated from a partner and you can not agree with them about selling a property, then it is most likely that a court order will be required to resolve the impasse. If this happens, then the court order will make considerations about any children that may be involved in the situation. They will also take into account if you remain married to the partner. These aspects will be used to determine the end result of a sale.

A court will usually encourage former partners to come to an agreement, but it is rarely straightforward, particularly in the couple have children. Even once you have obtained a court order, you may find that it is actually easier to try and work something out with your ex partner, prior to dragging the issue through the court.

However, if you have already been given a court date, you may still be liable to pay the fees, even if the disagreement has already been resolved. This could cost you anywhere between £2,000 and £5,000 and will be altered based on the amount of time it takes a court to decide on what should happen. The more people who are considered dependents, such as children, the longer it will usually take, as the situation has more variables and issues to consider.

Lack of mental capacity

When a separation between partners occurs, and one of them does not have the necessary mental capacity to handle the process of selling a property, the court can issue a ‘court of protection’. This happens in situations where the court has decided that one or both of the split up partners lack the necessary capacity to properly make a decision for themselves about what should happen to the property. A senior or district judge is likely to listen to the case, but it may also end up in the High Court in some situations.

If you are issued with a court order

This does not necessarily mean you have will to instantly sell your home. If you have any children, it may be possible to keep hold of your home until the youngest child turns 18 years old. Regardless of the reason for the court order and the particular issues involved, it is usually a good idea to pay for a solicitor to help you navigate it. This will be an extra expense, but a huge benefit to helping you deal with your case. If you can not afford a solicitor, you may be able to apply for legal aid.

A court order may not exactly force your ex partner to sell the property you own together, but it may help get the courts to see in your favour. If you have received a court order, you need to offer enough evidence to prove why your property should not be forcibly sold. A solicitor can help you fight this, and build a defence of evidence to prove why you don’t want to sell your home. These situations are always complicated and the court will have to decide what will happen to your property based on all the different people involved and how the issue can best be solved.

If you are issued with a compulsory purchase order

A compulsory purchase order will happen if a local or national authority of organisation believes your property is blocking a development for the community, such as a road, stadium or shopping centre. They will issue a compulsory purchase order and force your home to be sold. It is very rare for this to happen, but it is a possibility. Another rare situation is the authorities forcing your home to be sold as they believe it is posing a danger to others.

If your property is sold because you are unable to pay your mortgage

If you can no longer afford to keep up with the payments on your mortgage, you may be forced to sell your home. You must know that your creditor is allowed to apply for a charging order, which means that by law you will be forced to sell your jointly owned property so that you can repay the money you owe on your mortgage. The creditor is able to apply for this order even if the loan you took out was not secured against your property. A lot of people are unaware this is the case, and think that because their loan is unsecured, their home is safe from being sold to pay it back, so keep this in mind.


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