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Disputes Between Cohabitees

When first purchasing a property with a family member, partner or friend, very few people anticipate that a fall out will occur in the future or what the consequences of that fall out may be.

A Deed of Trust helps to protect each party’s interest in the property for in the event of a fall out. However, this is often the last thing on people’s mind at the time of purchase so it is often not prepared.

A breakdown in a relationship of cohabitees often leads to a dispute relating to the division of assets, in the absence of a pre-existing Deed of Trust.

If the break up has not been harmonious then conflict can arise. One party may have contributed more to the initial deposit or paid towards the mortgage or paid to have work carried out at the property whilst in occupation thus contributing to the current value of the property. It therefore follows that each party’s interest in the property may not be 50/50 and if the parties are unable to agree each of their interests then it may be necessary to seek a declaration of that interest from the Court. This may also include the granting of an Order for the Sale of the property in the event that one party refuses to agree to the sale of the property and is unable to buy the other parties interest in the property.

On a Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 application (TOLATA), the Court has broad powers to declare parties’ property rights according to established law on trusts.

At Linder Myers our experienced team prides itself on giving practical and pragmatic advice to help you achieve the right result as quickly and cost effectively as possible during what can be a stressful and traumatic time.

If you have an interest in a property which you would like to realise or if someone is claiming an interest in your property which you dispute, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 042 0700 or email

Meet the Dispute Resolution teamContact us

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