Joint landlords dispute

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    Joint landlords dispute

    My ex partner ( we were in a relationship together for 10 years) and I purchased a flat, each putting in an equal deposit of £10,000. When we split up he took all the paperwoek concerning the property. He offered to buy me out for half what I invested plus the balance of the joint account we hold to manage the finances of the flat, a total of around £5500. I was prepared to accept this as I just wanted to sever all ties and be able to move on. After instructing a solicitor and several letters between my solicitor and his ( costing me around £500), he reduced his offer, claiming the valuation to be lower than originally agreed. I therefore decided to hang on to my share.
    Our tenant moved out in December so he contacted me wanting me to go round and decorate, clean up after she left, to save money. He also asked me for money to install central heating as the storage heating was not adequate in order for it to be re-let.
    I have just discovered that without me being party to any of the paperwork etc a new let commenced in December and that he has virtually cleaned out our joint account used for the flat and opened a new account in his sole name to which I have no access. The rent is to be paid by the letting agent directly into this account and the mortgage is to be paid out of it. Apparently central heating has been installed, without my approval.
    My worry is that I have no knowledge of what is going on or access to any surplus in rental income. What can I do about this? Can I force a sale if he wont buy me out? Is it legal for him to open a separate account?

    #2
    You need professional legal advice.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by westminster View Post
      You need professional legal advice.
      I agree with westminster's comment above, but, there are some steps you can take to establish what is going on prior to meeting a solicitor which will help you help them.

      Does the LA know that you are a joint owner of the property?

      Obtain a copy of any and all paperwork regarding the advertising of the property and actual letting. Has he claimed to be the sole owner on any paperwork, find out?

      I believe that if there is any dispute with a joint bank account that the bank can freeze it thus protecting what may be left, but I am not 100% certain on this. If you know the bank where the new account is held I would be inclined to speak to them and point out that the rental income being paid in is the subject of a civil dispute.

      Is the mortgage lender aware the the property is let, all above board in that regard? Has he claimed to the mortgage lender that he is the sole owner and has taken over the mortgage in his name alone? You need to speak to them as well.

      I would write to the ex asking for copies of all paperwork and receipts for any work carried out on the property.

      Good luck.

      pm
      Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Westminster and Property Mongrel for your advice. I have requested the information from the letting agents and my ex partner.

        Since my original post another issue has arisen with regards to the deposit paid by the tenant who moved out in December. It is held by the DPS in my sole name. I was not party to any inspection of the property when she left. On speaking to her she claims that she was told that everything was in order apart from some minor cleaning jobs which she was told not to bother about . He has now sent her a demand for payment of nearly double the amount of the deposit, claiming that substantial work has needed to be carried out in order to re- let the property. He has included a figure for loss of rent during the time the work was carried out - quoting a period of 24 days for cleaning, a replacement oven, which she was not informed of at the time of inspection and claims was working fine, the list goes on.

        I have control of the deposit as it is in my name, can anyone pleas help with some advice as to what I should do?

        Comment


          #5
          Your ex's claims on the deposit sound dubious.

          If you were to refund the deposit from the DPS, this does not prevent you from subsequently suing the tenant if the claims turn out to be legitimate.

          Identify from ex if there was an inventory, showing the condition of the place when the tenant moved in. If not, I would refund straight away.

          If there is an inventory, then I would advise the tenant to lodge a dispute with the DPS and you can get ex to complete the paperwork if he feels he want to keep any of the deposit. The DPS arbitrators will decide what is fair.

          As background info, this link describes the decision process for one of the other schemes - but might give you some guidance as to the validity of your ex's claims. http://www.propertyhawk.co.uk/index....agazine&id=411

          Comment


            #6
            I have contacted my ex, apparently there was no inventory and he has suggested that I transfer the deposit into his name and he fights the dispute submitted by the tenant. He has photos of the damage, I doubt whether they are dated or signed by both parties as is suggested in the information in the link. He feels that suing her separately is not an option as she is broke.

            My worry is that if I refund the deposit as you suggest, he will claim that I owe him the money for repairs etc.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cazbash View Post
              My worry is that if I refund the deposit as you suggest, he will claim that I owe him the money for repairs etc.
              Whilst I agree with the other posters, you need proper advice, I would say that if he can't prove your tenant did the damage then how would he prove that you owe him her money?

              His request to transfer the deposit to him may be your best bet. He will have to set up his own DPS account and then you can do an online transfer from your account. That way, the tenants deposit isn't being compromised and justice can be seen to be done via arbitration (expect ex to be p'ed off when tenant wins - no inventory almost certainly means no proof)

              Comment


                #8
                I would not transfer deposit to your ex, sounds a bit fly.
                Once you close the DPS account, you confirm the tenancy has ended.
                I suggest you put the deposit in dispute with DPS ADR and let your ex provide supporting docs. If you lose then tenant gets their deposit back (or part of) and your ex has no further claim on it.

                I assume tenant moved out after giving due Notice and handed the keys back. Seems strange your ex is trying to claim loss of rent for subsequent repair period as the Tenancy would have been finished by then (or am I missing a trick here?)

                As others have said for this and other matters you need prof legal advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mariner View Post
                  I would not transfer deposit to your ex, sounds a bit fly.
                  I am interested why you would be against this? Ex could not get his hands on the actual £/s/d without going through the arbitration scheme anyway, but it would save OP having to get involved.

                  Comment

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