Property ownership disputes can be caused by a range of circumstances, including inheritance, divorce, co-habitation agreements and buying property with friends or family. The most common property ownership disputes involve family breakdown, however – which may involve the expertise of family lawyers and property lawyers to resolve a property ownership or co-ownership issue.
Second or multiple marriages are also a common cause of co-ownership property disputes, especially after family bereavements when a case of contested probate involving a family property might occur.
For co-habitees, being a common law spouse can also mean not having a share in a partner’s property – unless it can be proved that:
- the parties intended to share the equity in a property
- the non-owner made a significant contribution to mortgage repayments and/or renovations
- the non –owner has invested or loaned capital for the purposes of the property
- the non-owner made a significant contribution to household expenses; or
- the non-owner contributed any of these on the understanding – even if misguided – that they were entitled to a share of the property.
Having shares in an investment portfolio property with other parties can also lead to a co-ownership property dispute – and as these cases may involve a property purchased as commercial investment, taking legal advice to protect your interests at an early stage of the dispute is crucial to realising your investment and preventing financial loss.
Co-ownership property disputes and the Land Registry
Co-ownership property disputes may also occur as a result of Land Registry anomalies. When a property transfer occurs – ie when a property is bought or sold – details of ownership are recorded at the Land Registry, which was set up in 1862. It is rare for an error to occur on a Land Registry record – but in cases where a property or conveyancing solicitor has submitted the incorrect details to the Land Registry after a property transfer, then an ownership dispute might occur and professional negligence claim for damages might be necessary.
LAWTEC Solicitors can advise both residential and commercial property owners involved in ownership or co-ownership disputes on the best legal options to protect their interests – including alternatives to litigation such as dispute resolution and mediation.
If no agreement between parties can be found, then LAWTEC Solicitors can apply for a court order (interim injunction) to prevent possible seizure of the property by another party.
Making Property Ownership Dispute Claims
Claims involving civil cases such as a property co-ownerships disputes usually have to be made within six years of an event.
In family law cases, there are no limitation periods for bringing claims, however – and LAWTEC Solicitors can advise on family law under UK law and Islamic law.
LAWTEC Solicitors can also instruct other professional experts in claims relating to a property co-ownership dispute or a case involving shares in a property – including obtaining counsel’s opinion on a case and the potential value of any damages (quantum).
LAWTEC Solicitors can also advise on alternatives to litigation in a property co-ownership dispute, including dispute resolution and mediation services.
Funding Property Co-ownership Dispute Claims
LAWTEC Solicitors offer clients who wish to take legal action in a co-ownership dispute – or a dispute over shares in property – a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to fund their case.
LAWTEC Solicitors also offers a fixed fee arrangement for the initial assessment of a case involving a co-ownership property dispute, so our clients know exactly how much they will be paying from the outset.
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