Can my partner kick me out?

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30/09/2021
437
5 min read
Can my partner kick me out? Preventing sale or disposal if one partner is the sole owner - from Parachute Law Solicitors

This article examines property owned by one partner. For rented homes click here.

Preventing sale or disposal if one partner is the sole owner

In England and Wales, the Sole Legal Owner of a property can generally dispose of it however they like. If your partner is the legal owner of your home and you are not, you may be able to stop them from selling their home out from under you, under very specific circumstances.

Preventing sale of your home if one partner is the sole owner will be different depending on whether the non-owner has any beneficial interest.

If you need to gain access to your home and permission to continue living there, you may be able to apply for an occupation order.

These are only granted in certain circumstances and are a temporary solution, normally lasting 6 months, while property litigation is resolved or you find alternative accommodation. Get in touch if you need to make an application.


Co-habitant without beneficial interest
Co-habitant with a beneficial share
  • You can only take action prevent the legal owner from selling the home if the property is under legal proceedings,
  • In this case, you may be able to obtain an injunction to prevent the sale until the court hearing determines ownership,
  • This usually happens when a non-legal owner has applied for a property transfer under the Children Act.
  • If your beneficial interest is protected (for example by Deed of Trust) you may not need to take any action
  • If your beneficial interest has been established (for example by constructive trust) or you are taking other legal proceedings, you will need to take specific action for your case
  • The action you need to take depends on whether the land is registered with the land registry

Can my partner kick me out of a registered property?

A cohabitee may be able to prevent sale or disposal if their partner is the sole owner if they:
  • register their beneficial interest at the Land Registry, or,
  • have open legal proceedings on the property

You can check if the property is registered at LandRegistry.GOV.UK

If the house is registered, you can register your interest using a notice or restriction. However, the legal owner may withdraw or cancel it and the overriding protection would be lost.

If you are taking legal proceedings such as:

You should make an application to the Land Registry declaring your interest, this should put off any prospective buyers and prevent sale or disposal if your partner is the sole owner.

Can my partner kick me out if the house is not registered?

You may be able to protect your interest by registering your beneficial interest on the title deed, but this is rarely possible as it would require the legal owner's consent. It is always wise to register your beneficial interest as early as possible and before any future breakdown of the relationship.

You may also be able to register a Caution against first registration with the Land Registry. It is still possible that a buyer could complete a purchase, but most transactions require compulsory registration. In this case you would have an opportunity to object, and to prove your interest in the property. This would most likely halt the sale.

If you are taking legal proceedings (which have begun, but are not resolved) such as:

You can register the proceedings as a pending land action. This should stop a buyer or their mortgage lender from going ahead with a purchase until the court action is concluded.

It may be possible for you to apply for an injunction which would enable you to continue living in the property until the case is closed. These are only granted under certain circumstances.

Cases when no action is necessary for preventing sale of home if one partner is the sole owner.


Registered Property
Unregistered Property
No action would be required to prevent the sale of your home if you have an overriding interest, which would be binding on any buyer or lender of your home. This can be established by proving:
  • you have a relevant interest in the property, (eg. beneficial interest or tenancy). A personal right to occupy (a bare licence) is not sufficient
  • you were occupying the property at the time the buyer or their lender registered title to the property

Unless:
  • enquiries had been made of you and you failed to disclose it when it could have been reasonably expected.
  • your occupation was not obvious on reasonably careful inspection and was not known to the buyer.
  • there was no mortgage in place before you gained your beneficial interest.
  • you have not signed a waiver giving the lender's right precedence over your own.

you may be able to retain the right to occupy, against a lender calling in a second charge taken out by the sole owner.
If no caution against first registration is in place, there are two circumstances where your beneficial interest will survive the sale of the property (or a loan against it)

    1
    You partner transfers the property for no consideration
For example, your partner gives your home to a relative for free, or for a nominal fee which does not represent it's value.

    2
    The lender or buyer had 'notice' of your interest
Even if you have not given notice of your interest, but the buyer or lender would have discovered your interest if they had made reasonable enquiries and inspections, the law deems this to be sufficient notice. (As long as you have not signed a waiver giving the lender's right precedence over your own).

Do you need help preventing sale or disposal if one partner is the sole owner?

The process for settling a property dispute can be long and costly. If you don't have a legal agreement setting out your beneficial share in the property, or do but need help with legal proceedings against your partner, then get in contact with us and see how we can help.

We can assist with:
  • Working out your beneficial interest
  • Pre-action negotiations
  • Application to court
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Mediation
  • Court appearance

We have on hand counsel to support your claim and offer guidance along the way.

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