Changing a joint mortgage to single name

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Julian74 | 20:35 Mon 09th Jan 2006 | Business & Finance
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My friends partner left her 5 years ago, 6 months after getting a joing mortgage. She has paid all mortgage payments since then and wants to get the house into her own name. She has no idea where her ex partner has gone, how can she go about doing this?


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She needs to contact her ex partner somehow as without their signature it will be very difficult. Does she realise that her ex partner has a claim on the property regardless of who has made all the payments ?? I am not sure how hard she has tried to find him (or her) but it is time to pull out all the stops and explore every avenue, otherwise this person could come back years later and expect their share of the house. She should get some legal advice over this, and would not be able to do it without a solicitor anyway. Also have you considered what would happen if anything happened to her - the property would belong to her ex partner.

It is possible to get a Court Order if the signature of the ex cannot be obtained but in order to do so your friend would need to provide evidence to the Court that she has made strenuous efforts to locate him. It would be wise to instruct a solicitor and they would then be able to arrange a search by tracing agents.

Something your friend could do immediately to prevent the whole property going to the ex in the event of anything unfortunate happening to her, would be to ensure they are registered as "tenants in common" rather than "joint tenants". That way (in the absence of any evidence to the contrary) they would be assumed to each own half the property so at least if she died she could leave her half to whoever she wished rather than it passing automatically to the ex. The actual share of the property could be sorted out later with the solicitors assistance. In order to amend the title of the property, your friend needs to write to her ex stating she is severing the joint tenancy and copy this letter to the Land Registry for the necessary restriction to be registered. The letter can be addressed to her ex at the property (the Land Registry are not concerned that the ex actually receives the letter as the severing of a joint tenancy is a unilateral action rather than something that needs to be agreed between the parties) so he does not need to be located to be able to do this.

Just another insight into the problems that may lay ahead if she leaves the situation to 'fester'

A single parent friend of mine was the second name on the joint mortg. (her spouse left: her,the kids and all his worries behind him) when the building society was forced to demutualise by carpet baggers they issued the �1300 pound cheque in his name only and would not budge on the issue, even though she had paid everything in the four years previous.

Some solicitors offer an hours free legal advice and there is always the citizens advice centre( do they have a web site?)

There is a web site that tracks people through the electoral registers all over this country, also a good people finder site works in the States both sourced through ask dot co . Lets hope he's a voter.I really wish this helps to resolve your friends problem!

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Changing a joint mortgage to single name

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