My husband and I are buying a house from a man who is selling his house once lived in by him and his wife. He wanted to sell, she still lived there and didn't but he got a court order to get her evicted and get vacant occupancy so he could proceed.
We were unaware of this legal situation, the seller and his solicitor thought we knew but the estate agent lied. We have our own set of circumstances that mean we need to move fast so this info was of grave importance to us as buyers. Anyway, we are in the situation now where the ex will get 14 days to sign the house over. If she doesn't the Judge will sign on her behalf - this court order has already been processed.
My question is - how long do we have to wait for the Judge to sign, does anyone have experience in this? It may depend upon their backlog but we don't have the luxury of time. Can we make an appeal to the Court to make this signature happen any quicker?
The property at the moment is in the joint names of your Vendor and his wife.
That would normally mean that both the vendor/seller of the house and his wife would have to sign the transfer to any prospective buyer.
A transfer signed only by the seller, but not his wife, would not be accepted by the Land Registry and you would not be registered as the new owners.
If the wife refuses to sign, a judge can sign the transfer instead of the recalcitrant wife. Were it otherwise, and the transfer to you were to be signed only by one of the joint owners, the application would not be accepted for the reasons given.
An application for registration of a transfer to a buyer signed only by the husband and not the wife must be accompanied by a copy of the order and, as you say, the judge would have to sign instead of the wife.
If I were acting on behalf of someone who was buying the property from you, I wouldn't hand over one cent until I was 101 per cent sure that the business had been done properly.
Unfortunately this happens all too often that, where a property is being sold and the parties are at loggerheads, there are many opportunities for one or other, or both, of the parties to play all sorts of monkey tricks and silly games.
OK, so supposing the judge signs the transfer,
What if the wife plays silly beggars and won't show prospective buyers round ? Or worse, what happens if she won't move, and pleads in mitigation that she has nowhere to go ?
Honest, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm nearly 80 now, and I've seen all the nonsense that divorcing couples can get up to.
I think you need a Big Think about this ' cos you don't want to become an innocent victim of your Vendor's squabbles.
Even if the judge signs, the wife has still potentially a few dirty tricks up her sleeve.
Really interested in what other 'dirty' tricks could be played. I'm in this very same situation, the court order requires that the FHM be sold but my ex is playing all sorts of games in an effort to thwart the sale - cancelling viewings at the last minute, allowing an excitable dog to jump up at potential buyers. She's doing her utmost to obstruct the sale and it's actually working.
The estate agent sent me a report detailing every cancelled viewing and all of the obstructive behaviour which I will be taking back to court...again! (5th time now after the final hearing)
I'll be asking for vacant possession in an effort to move this along but I have to say, it's ridiculous how the party living in the property can entirely frustrate the process.
I'd be interested in any advice how I could move this along. I've already had some additional solicitor advice which only confirmed the suggestions that I had already made to them in the first place.
Thank you for the response. The seller has already sought vacant occupancy so the house is empty. We have seen it - we were told she had left and no one knew where she was.
We are in too deep to not try and see it through. Six months in fact and we only found out the extent of the situation two weeks ago. We were lied to by the estate agent (Alistair Harper, Purple Bricks) and were not given full disclosure in the beginning. The seller's solicitor through we knew - we didn't.
We do have a copy of the court order. Tomorrow is the end of the 14 day period for the limit for her to sign it over. Needless to say she won't sign. We are indeed innocent victims of this divorce. In the end, she will get her 50% - it is all so futile.
In your experience how long does it take a Judge to sign a transfer document, and is the ANYTHING we can do to appeal to the court to speed it up?
I would also be interested to know your opinion on what she can still do to try and stop the sale.
I took some solicitor advice and part of it was for the applicant (the seller of the house) to apply to the court for the judge to sign on behalf of the respondent if the respondent does not sign.
If this wasn't built into the original order then the seller will need to go through the D11 process so it could take a bit more time. If it was built into the order then it should negate the need for a further hearing and the judge will simply sign it.
I'm not sure that there's anything you can do as the issue is with the seller(s).
I'm in the same situation as the seller and I don't believe this is his fault, however the estate agents should have informed you so I would definitely have a word with them, if this has impacted you financially I would ask what the estate agents intend to do about it although I guess the answer will be...nothing!
It does sound to me as though you are nearly there, I'm not sure what else the ex wife could do to disrupt it although you never know!!