What to do if you want to move out of a shared house?

Ruth Jewell





Ruth Jewell | Head of Litigation & Dispute Team

With house prices ever increasing it can be beneficial for people who are not married to share the cost of purchasing a house and the day to day living expenses. The people involved may be in a loving relationship or they may simply be a group of friends. It may be that one person bought the house and you later moved in and paid towards the property either the mortgage, the utilities or you contributed in a way that enabled the property owner to pay the mortgage. But what happens when that relationship breaks down and you want to move out of a shared house?

Quite often one person decides to move out, move in with family or rent somewhere. But what about their investment/contribution in the property? A few years may pass, and they may wish to buy another house and will need their investment for a deposit or they may still be on the original mortgage.

In an ideal world, the person who has left will be bought out by person/people who are still living in the property but as some of my clients have experienced the remaining person/people may not be able to do so and also they may not want to move out of what they now consider to be their home.

If this occurs the law can help. The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 is there to help. I am sure there are lots of concerns about taking this route such as my name is not on the deeds, my name is not on the mortgage, I have not paid towards the mortgage since I left. All of these are understandable concerns but they generally can be overcome.

Many of these cases are resolved without the need to go to Court or substantial legal costs. The ultimate outcome is that the leaving party either receives the return of their investment or the property is sold.

We would always advise that prevention is better than the cure and a formal agreement should be entered into between the parties but we do appreciate this may not always be the case. Should you be experiencing any of these difficulties then we are here to advise and guide you to a resolution. Please feel free to contact our litigation/dispute resolution team either through our website or call on 0116 255 1811.

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