I have a friend I''ve known for 28 years, who commenced going out with a woman in 1988 and has been in a cohabiting relationship with her since 2002. In 2004 they moved into a 3 bedroomed flat in a nice area bought in her name only at a price of in excess of £250,000. He paid £1250 per month mortgage payments into her sole bank account for 2/3 years, this reducing to £1000 p.m. (interest rate)– six years altogether. Two years later they got engaged abroad. He bought a ring in excess of £1000 and since she did not like the design he had it remodelled at an additional cost. She bought a wedding dress. They agreed upon a place abroad where she wanted to get married. She asked him to change his family name since she did not like it for her future family name. He did so by Deed Poll to the consternation of his parents. It seemed he would do anything for her.
Unknown initially to him, she had three affairs with other men during the time of this engagement, but later apologised and so he continued to live with her still expecting to marry.
He further improved the property substantially as he is a skilled tradesman in that field. He worked for some years on refurbishing the flat to a very high standard, i.e. new bathroom, including boiler, new kitchen, new ceilings throughout central heating, redecoration. Estimated value £10,000 labour over 6 years.
She has also a small portfolio of properties on buy to let mortgages. He managed all repairs, improvements and calls out on those. This, for a period of 11 years, estimated saving for her £16,800.
Domestically he did 85% of the housework and laundry, shared cooking and looked after her daughter (from a previous relationship abroad), spending time with her as a family of three together and child minding. She loves him very much and is now a teenager.
About four months ago, his partner said she no longer had any feelings for him now, having gone out with him for 4 years and lived together for 10 years and that they should both be free to make other relationships. Soon after that he left the flat. Her teenage daughter is now devastated at her mother’s decision. My friend had a good relationship with the daughter, having done baby sitting for her, and he still hopes to keep in touch.
What claim, or claims, does my friend have, if any, as he has been left with no savings. He does have a steady job but all his savings have been put into the family and the properties, and he now has very little resources. He is not angry nor vindictive and not looking for maximum compensation. Maybe if a solicitor predicts a good outcome they will take fees on instalments.