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Force a sale?

Started by monabri, April 30, 2024, 06:54:38 PM

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We own a property 50:50 with a relation. We want to sell but they refuse to even put the property on the market. They are hoping that we are desparate to sell so they can "buy us out" on the cheap - however this is NOT going to happen and we are not looking to move ourselves for a year or two so we have time on our side (even though we will soon be paying double council tax bills).

The property is sitting empty. We have signed up to sell it with a local estate agency but the relation hardly even responds to the estate agents phonecalls and emails.

Can we force a sale under TOLATA? (The other party own several other houses and other property and have no children in tow!).

The way we look at it, at the moment the property is sitting idle and we are quite prepared to spend a few thousand to take matters to court. Of course, if this results in an "auction sale", then both of us will most likely lose out financially but we are prepared for the financial hit - at leat we will be able to move on with our lives! 


What happened to your wife's brother's suggestion that you do a property swap to sidestep the above problem?


When we looked into it we realised that it was going to cost US quite a chunk of money in stamp duty, solicitors fees and then finally estate agents and yet more solicitors fees to sell...just under £7k!


You can try and force a sale under the act, but I don't see why a court would do that. Why should your wish to sell override your co-owners desire not to sell?

The legal fees for that kind of claim are likely to cost way more than £7k


Thanks JPK

The property will just have to remain "as is". Fortunately we don't need the money and, as mentioned above,  we're in no rush.


I'm a bit late to the party here, but I disagree with @jpkeates. Tolata claims to force a sale are becoming more frequent and I can see no reason why it wouldn't be successful, (using the limited information you have provided). Re costs, in your position it would be prudent to find a solicitor conversant with this type of action and ask for a quote.

It might be that if the relatives mind is focused on the possibility they may have to pay some of your costs, they might budge on the issue and acquiesce.

In answer to jp, why would your wishes override those of the other owner, the answer is simply because you want to sell and they don't. It's costing you money and you no longer wish to co own. That is normally reason enough.


From the link above ( this website would not let me add the link AND the text at the same time !)

Joint tenancy

A joint tenancy is the default legal ownership status if no owner says otherwise.

You can think of a joint tenancy being the situation where the property is something that cannot be divided up - where you cannot say 'he owns that part, she owns that other part'.

The consequences of joint tenancy are:ownership is equal. There is no alternative

if one party wants out, then the other must agree to a sale of the property, or to buying the co-owner out. The other can be forced to sell by order of the Court if necessary, and the Court will order a sale by auction if one party refuses to co-operate.


Good to know if we want to sell sometime in the next couple of years.

CGT implications would mean selling later the property will sit idle for the time being and we'll have to stump up the 2x Council tax etc.