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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Joint Property letting

  • inastate
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30 Nov 12 #368668 by inastate
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Does anybody know the answer.....

In the Final Hearing with my ex the Judge awarded the FMH to me but as we also had re-mortgaged to get 2 rental properties as well....the Judge awarded 1 to the ex husband and the other to be sold with a 30 / 70 split in his favour, to balance the books.

The ex issued a Notice to Quit to the tenant although the Judge said she and her kids could stay there as tenants until the house sold....and that I could go on managing the house and collecting the rent as that was my only income. He did not specify any of this in his Directions though...obviously trusting that the verbal instruction was adequate.

As the tenant said she was moving out and I had always run the house....I found a new tenant to stay until it is sold.

The ex then marched in when he was at work.....took all his personal possessions, absolutely everything ...then changed the locks...and reported to the Police that there had been a trespasser.

The police, not being trained in Civil Law refused to log the tenants report that he had been had all his items stolen....and still not returned to him...and actually upheld what my ex had done.

Question.....How do I stand as a joint owner of the property...now locked out from a property I jointly own, and the income the Judge said I could keep, now gone. ???

This means I have lost ALL the income from BOTH the houses and have nothing else to live on, because I''m not entitled to DSS or anything. I am 58 and cannot find a job as I have bad arthritis and a cataract. I sold my car as I could not afford it, or drive at night anymore with my bad cataract so now have limited transport.

The ex is trying this method to bully me into accepting a lower sale price. He has £30,000 of debt and wants the house sold to pay off his debts.....but at the lowest price, meaning I lose another chunk of money.

The houses only exist because of a £100,000 inheritance I had....but the Judge did not really give any consideration to that.

Question....where do I stand ????

The Council are after the Council Tax now and the water rates as well....The ex says I HAVE to pay a share until the house sells.. for an empty house, that until he intervened had tenants. In 8 months there have been no viewers yet because of the property market crash. It could be another year before it sells.

Help !! I am so worn down by his devious ways and spiteful and malicous intentions. He will be happy to see me and my 18 year old son ( student ) starving on the roadside.

What are my rights on this ???? Does anybody have a clue, because I cannot find the answer anywhere.

Thanks to those who read this and if you know what my next step can be, please advice me.

  • WYSPECIAL
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30 Nov 12 #368691 by WYSPECIAL
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The obvious question is what exactly does the Consent Order say?

The judge said the tenants could stay until the house was sold but when they left did you have the authority to find new tenants?

Police don''t deal with Civil Law, it''s not a training issue, they only deal with Criminal Law.

  • LittleMrMike
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30 Nov 12 #368695 by LittleMrMike
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Oh dear. I suspect you are not going to like this. But yes, I do understand that if a judge says something, it would be entirely reasonable of you to assume that a judge knew what he was talking about.
So let''s see. You got the marital home. There are two rental properties, he got one, and the other was to be sold and he gets 70% of the proceeds.
In the first place, I am assuming from your use of the word '' we '' that the house which was to be sold was in joint names. The first question I want to ask you is whether this is correct.
On the assumption that it is indeed correct, then I think the judge was partly wrong. Clearly, a notice to quit has to be issued, and if the tenancy was assured shorthold ( which I assume it was, because most private sector lettings are ) then two months'' notice has to be given. Until that time, the tenant is entitled to remain, must pay the rent, and you can continue to manage it and if the judge has said that the rent is yours until the notice runs out , then I think you are entitled to assume that was part of his order.
Where I disagree with the judge is that the tenant has no right to remain in the house after the notice to quit has run out. On the expiry date the tenant must go - and if he doesn''t, the landlord can get a Court order forcing him to go.
But this is academic as it happens, because the tenant did vacate the property in response to the notice to quit. So far so good then.
But I don''t think you had any right to let the property after the tenant had vacated. I say that because, if the property was in joint names, both of you must concur in a letting. Secondly, the judge had ordered that the property be sold. If there''s a tenant there you can''t sell it. Nobody will buy the house with a tenant already there.
So, I''m sorry, but I don''t think you should have let the premises, but that is what you did and I''m sure it was done. in good faith . Having said this, your husband was most unwise to evict him without a Court order.
This is because, to do so could potentially be a criminal offence under section 1 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, Secondly, it is distinctly possible, and probably likely, that the tenancy agreement would have contained what is known in the trade as a covenant for quiet enjoyment ; in plain English, this means that the tenant is entitled to occupy the property without undue interference from the land while he remains the tenant. Clearly, this tenant has had nothing of the sort.
No lawyer who knows what he is doing will advise a landlord to take matters in his own hands while evicting a tenant, but always to get a Court order. The 1977 Act provisions are notorious for their complexity and the risk of liability, both civil and criminal, is quite a high one. The risks for the client are not worth it.
One crumb of comfort I think I can give you is this. I suspect the reason why you have been denied benefits is because of your part ownership of the rented house. However, I think you have a good case to argue that this was wrong and that it should not have counted against you. If the property was to be sold, you are allowed a period of time to sell it before it starts to count against you. I would advise you see a CAB as soon as possible.
In giving this advice I have made some assumptions and there is always the possibility that these assumptions may not be correct. It is possible that a CAB may be able to help you with this. It''s not realistic to advise you to see a solicitor if you have no money ; but sometimes the CAB have connections with specialists who can offer help.
LMM

  • inastate
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01 Dec 12 #368711 by inastate
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Thankyou for taking the time to reply.

As far as my research took me a Shorthold Tenancy can be for as little as a week if necessary...and the man who I instated as a new tenant was only given a 6 week fixed term because he needed something while working in the area over Christmas and New Year as a Chef locally. I included in the tenancy that if he wished to stay longer it would be as a Periodic tenancy.

No viewers so far...so sale either. Sales always take between 2 and 3 months to go through ( ours took 7 months )if there are no hiccups, so plenty of time to give notice to a tenant that the house has a buyer and to leave in 2 months time etc.

I have run the rental houses sinse 2006. The ex never even knew who was ever living in them, their names or what they looked like...he was self employed 25 miles a way and the house rentals were my business basically.

One was a shared house ( like a student house but for working people ) and every week I was there doing all the cleaning and looking after them all like an extended family. It was all separate tenancies so it was constant work doing viewings and check ins and outs and cleaning in between etc.and the ex did nothing.

He left the FMH nearly 4 years ago...has never contributed to any of the 3 mortgages....not a single penny...never done any maintenance or helped in any way...so this is why feel that I have the right to continue as the Judge said I could until the time a buyer is found.

I have never interferred in the ex''s business..or taken away any of his trade or income..plus he is now renting the other house and keeping all the income, but I have not interferred or tried to evict ''his'' tenants so I shouldn''t be forced to comply with his devious and malicious actions on this issue. He has never given us a penny from his business ( which incidentally was a franchise that I bought him with some money I had )so I don''t see why I should have to tolerate his behaviour.

I had a £100,000 inheritance which then directly and indirectly made it possible to have the 2 other houses ...so there are alot of factors to consider.

If the Judge said the current tenant could stay till the house sold then there should be no difference in having a new one, on a very short fixed term to alleviate any problems if a buyer does come by. The ex has never done the rental houses so he has no idea about the laws regarding tenants and Landlords...he is a Bully and and always has been...hence kicking out the 1st tenant followed by the 2nd.

Even squatters have rights and a court order has to be given to evict a proper tenant or a squatter, but a Bully would think differently and that''s why my ex did what he did.

He also sees it as a ''starving me into submission'' trick. I cannot claim benefits because I have ''assets''...but do I?? My name is on all 3 mortgages ( Building Soc refuse to remove either name ) but I have been denied any rental income now from either and at my age and with my various health problems it is not easy to get a job.

He also said he wanted this particular house and not the one the Judge allocated to him....so it is very likely that he will now move in there himself.....again against the Judge''s agreement.

My ex thinks he is above the law..full stop. He is a violent tempered bully deliberately trying to starve me into submission, which is very sad, very upsetting and very worrying.

The Judge knows less about property rental than I do....I had to put him right on several things.....really!!

Do you think I am going to get anywhere with this when we go before a Judge ....
and do you know if I can lauch some sort of claim against him now as he has changed the locks and denied me access to a house I have a share in....to do viewings for buyers even.....as well as denying me the income.

The tenant is pushing for a claim for theft...he still does not have his stuff back...and I want to claim for the lost right of entry and income as well.

Any ideas if we can do this ....and how ???

Thankyou for any advice or help. Much appreciated.

  • sim5355
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01 Dec 12 #368717 by sim5355
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hi!inastate
why don''t you move into rental until sold and rent out the house you are living in?

  • LittleMrMike
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01 Dec 12 #368720 by LittleMrMike
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Inastate

In one sense you are right - an assured short hold tenancy can be for as little as a week but I think you will find that, by section 99 of the Housing Act 1996, a Court is precluded from making an order which takes effect earlier than six months from the grant of the tenancy,

That was certainly the position when I practised law and I have no reason to suppose that it is any different now.

LMM

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01 Dec 12 #368777 by inastate
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Hi....simple answer...it has crossed my mind on several occassions, but I have a beautiful large house and have helped to keep myself afloat by having lodgers.

Anybody who has ever had lodgers will know that they are not usually very respectful of ones property or belongings and I have had so many things damaged and broken by various lodgers I wouldn''t want to leave them ''on their own'' as such....and as it is a very very large house the chance of renting it at an appropiate price .... and getting it back in the same condition I left it in ...is highly unlikely. I have a living room that is 700sq feet and has an all white carpet, for example.

I have 3 lodgers at present which helps financially but leaving them for a weekend is a worry, as I can''t afford any insurance. If I go away for longer than a couple of days I ask some friends to come and house sit.

So I went off that idea...and anyway the ex has changed the locks on the rental house so I no longer have any access.

I''m pleased to get any suggestions though of what I can do next re- making some sort of claim against the ex for the financial losses incurred and the fact I no longer have any access to a property I am a joint owner of ( tenants in common )so if you have any suggestions keep them coming.

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