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Two properties unoccupied

  • amonzo
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04 Jun 07 #577 by amonzo
Topic started by amonzo
My wife left the marital home two months ago. We and our kids lived with my mother in her house for the length of our ten year marriage. During this period i purchased two homes in my sole name as investments. Property 1 is rented at present and property 2 was rented for a short period, but the tenants left, leaving the property in a bad state of repair.

Property 2 has remained empty for over a year now as i cannot afford to do all the repairs to make it rentable.

My wife and myself have never lived in either property at any time. Recently i recieved a b94-1 notice of an application for a home rights notice on proprty 2 from my wife.

Property 2 was never the marital home as we never lived their. Do i have any re-course on the notice - what is my position.

Thanks

  • LittleMrMike
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04 Jun 07 #581 by LittleMrMike
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I'm puzzled, frankly.

If this application is what I think it is, I can't see that it applies. The normal situation is where you have unmarried partners living together where the tenancy is in the sole name of one, and matrimonial home rights is a short term measure which enables the non-tenant to carry on living there for a short time to enable him/her to search for accommodation.

Has this notice come from the Land Registry ? If so can you please give the EXACT number of the form and I might be able to talk a little more intelligently.

But if you are in a divorce situation, property number 2 could be claimed by your wife as part of a financial settlement.

Mike

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06 Jun 07 #609 by amonzo
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Hi Mike,

Thanks for repsonding to my post, I really appreciate it.

The letter is from the Land Registry and i have summarised the details from the letter as follows:
'B94-1 Notice of Application for a home rights notice.

The notice is under section 34(2)(a) of the land registration act 2002 to protect home rights under family law act 1996.

As a result of the application the Land Registry has, as required by law, entered in the register of your above title notice of home rights under the family Law act 1996 in favour of (wifes name).

The purpose of the entry is to ensure that the rights protected by it are properly taken into account, for instance on a sale or mortgage of the property.'

I have some more detail that could help in your response.

- My wife has not served divorce papers yet (dont know when) but we are seperated for 2 months.

- With this notice in place am i still able to re-mortgage the property without her consent?

- I am the sole registered proprietor of the property.

Really appreciate your help - let me know if you need anymore detail.

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06 Jun 07 #622 by LittleMrMike
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Thanks for that, I think things are becoming a little clearer.

I think your wife is using section 30 of the Family Law Act 1996. You can get this on the Internet, just type in ' Family Law Act 1996 ' and you should get it. Section 30 is headed ' Rights to occupy matrimonial home '. The problem that the Act was intended to address was something like this - if the marital home is in joint names, both husband and wife must agree to a sale or mortgage. But if it is in the name of one of them, the spouse having ownership - usually the husband -could mortgage the house without the wife knowing about it, and she only found out when the bailiffs turned up to evict her.

I will tell you what I think is going on here. It seems clear from your letter that divorce is a possibility. Your wife is thinking a few moves ahead. If you divorce she needs somewhere to live. She knows she can't get at the marital home because that belongs to your Mum. So what about that empty house ?

But the problem from her point of view is that she is not the owner. So there is nothing to stop you selling it or mortgaging it to fund repairs. So she wants to stop you doing that so that she can make a claim on it as part and parcel of the divorce process, if you get to that stage.

Now I am inclined to think that your wife's attempt to register matrimonial home rights is inappropriate, because this empty property is not, and you say never was, the marital home. But from your wife's point of view. registering a notice - even if inappropriately - will virtually stop you selling or mortgaging the house with an entry like this on the register. The advantage to your wife of doing it this way is quite simple - it is cheap, and it's effective.

So what do you do ?

Well, you may be able to challenge the notice. You can discuss this with your solicitor. However my worry is that your wife could react to that by filing a petition for divorce and applying for an order preventing you dealing with the property. In other words, she may well be able to achieve the desired result It's just that she's probably gone about it the wrong way.

Your wife may be thinking ahead and it may not be a bad idea if you did the same. I think that your wife has a very reasonable chance of getting this house if she claims it as part of a divorce settlement - she has to have somewhere to live. May I make a suggestion ? Have you considered housing grants ? Look, I've been retired for years, but it does no harm talking to your local authority and finding out what is available. It's probably changed since I packed this up.

I think you need legal advice, quite honestly, not just about the notice, but about what your position might be if you divorce. I hope that what I have said may be helpful to some extent, but my knowledge may not be up to date, so you should check it out.

Mike

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06 Jun 07 #623 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Thanks for that, I think things are becoming a little clearer.

I think your wife is using section 30 of the Family Law Act 1996. You can get this on the Internet, just type in ' Family Law Act 1996 ' and you should get it. Section 30 is headed ' Rights to occupy matrimonial home '. The problem that the Act was intended to address was something like this - if the marital home is in joint names, both husband and wife must agree to a sale or mortgage. But if it is in the name of one of them, the spouse having ownership - usually the husband -could mortgage the house without the wife knowing about it, and she only found out when the bailiffs turned up to evict her.

I will tell you what I think is going on here. It seems clear from your letter that divorce is a possibility. Your wife is thinking a few moves ahead. If you divorce she needs somewhere to live. She knows she can't get at the marital home because that belongs to your Mum. So what about that empty house ?

But the problem from her point of view is that she is not the owner. So there is nothing to stop you selling it or mortgaging it to fund repairs. So she wants to stop you doing that so that she can make a claim on it as part and parcel of the divorce process, if you get to that stage.

Now I am inclined to think that your wife's attempt to register matrimonial home rights is inappropriate, because this empty property is not, and you say never was, the marital home. But from your wife's point of view. registering a notice - even if inappropriately - will virtually stop you selling or mortgaging the house with an entry like this on the register. The advantage to your wife of doing it this way is quite simple - it is cheap, and it's effective.

So what do you do ?

Well, you may be able to challenge the notice. You can discuss this with your solicitor. However my worry is that your wife could react to that by filing a petition for divorce and applying for an order preventing you dealing with the property. In other words, she may well be able to achieve the desired result It's just that she's probably gone about it the wrong way.

Your wife may be thinking ahead and it may not be a bad idea if you did the same. I think that your wife has a very reasonable chance of getting this house if she claims it as part of a divorce settlement - she has to have somewhere to live. May I make a suggestion ? Have you considered housing grants ? Look, I've been retired for years, but it does no harm talking to your local authority and finding out what is available. It's probably changed since I packed this up.

I think you need legal advice, quite honestly, not just about the notice, but about what your position might be if you divorce. I hope that what I have said may be helpful to some extent, but my knowledge may not be up to date, so you should check it out.

Mike

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