Court Order To Sell Property

Obtain A Court Order To Force The Sale Of Jointly Owned Property

Selling your home can often be stressful enough, but if you need to get a court order so the house can be sold, it may make it seem a lot more complicated. A court order is usually required if you and your partner have split up and can’t agree to sell the property, or you cannot afford to repay the mortgage. In some extreme circumstances, homes may be sold for the benefit of the local community, but this is rare.

Separation And Selling Your Home

If you want to sell your home because you have split up from your partner, you can apply for an order if your ex does not want to sell up.  Once you have received the order, the courts can then begin to enforce it if required. You should be aware that this whole process can take at least a few months. If you want to speed up the sale of your home, you may be able to, however, the courts will need an explanation as to why you’re in a particular hurry. If you need to sell the home in order to escape domestic abuse, it’s likely that the sale will go ahead a lot quicker than it otherwise would. 

Forcing Sale Of Jointly Owned Property 

If you already have a solicitor, you may wish to ask them to apply for the order, or you could apply yourself. You will need to visit the County Court and request a County Court Judgement. The CCJ will give you the decision as to whether your request for an order has been granted. Once you have the CCJ, you can then apply for the ‘Order for sale’, but to do so will mean you have to attend a hearing. At the hearing, your circumstances will be taken into consideration and you will be told whether you have been successful. 

Forcing House Sale

What is Included in the Court Order?

An order for sale court order usually includes information about why one of the parties has not agreed to the order. If your partner does not give a reason as to why they don’t want the sale to go ahead, the court will force them to agree to it. 

Lack of mental capacity

If a couple splits up, and one of them does not have the mental capacity to deal with the sale process, the court may be able to issue what is known as a ‘Court of protection’. This is used in cases where the court has decided that one or both of the former partners lack the capacity to make a decision for themselves. A district or senior judge is likely to hear the case, but the case may also go to the High Court if it is deemed necessary. 

Failing to resolve the issue 

If you have split up from your partner, and you cannot come to an agreement about the sale of the home, it’s likely that a court order will be required. In this case, a court order will take into account any children that you may have. They will also take into account if you are still married to your partner. These factors can help to determine the outcome of any sale. 

Although former partners are usually encouraged to try to come to an agreement, it may not always be that easy, particularly if children are involved. Even if you have already applied for a court order, you may find it easier to come to an agreement with your former partner, rather than going to court. 

If a court date has already been set, you may have to pay the fees, regardless of the outcome. The fees could be as little as £2,000, but they may also be as much as £5,000. The costs relate to the amount of time that the courts take to make a decision, again, having dependants could potentially make things a little more complicated.

If your home is sold because you cannot pay your mortgage 

If you cannot keep up the payments on your mortgage, you may have to sell your home. You should be aware that the creditor is perfectly within their rights to apply for a charging order. This order means that you have to by law, sell your home so that you can repay your mortgage. The creditor can apply for this order regardless of whether a loan that you took out was secured on your property or not. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of this, and assume that if they have an unsecured loan, their home is completely safe. 

If you are issued with a compulsory purchase order

If your home is going to be sold because you have been issued with a compulsory purchase order, it’s likely that an official organisation thinks your home is in the way of a new road, shopping mall, or stadium. As I mentioned earlier, people are rarely issued with an order like this, but it can and does happen. You may also be forced to sell if the authorities think your home is a danger to others, but this is a rare occurrence too. 

If you are issued with a court order

If you are issued with a court order, it does not mean you will have to sell your home. If you have children, in some cases you may be able to stay in your home until your youngest child turns 18. Whatever the reason for the order, and the issues surrounding it, you may have to hire a solicitor to help you. This can add a lot more expense to the sale, but a solicitor could help to fight your case. If you’re unable to afford a solicitor, you may be eligible for legal aid.

While a court order may not necessarily mean you or your former partner will have to sell your jointly owned property, it can help you get the courts on your side. If you have been issued with a court order, you will need to show sufficient evidence as to why your home should not be sold. A solicitor may be able to help you with this, and if the evidence weighs in your favour you may not have to sell your home after all. However, each and every case is different, so you will have to wait for the court to decide what is happening to your home. 

*Our content is not designed to constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice we recommend contacting a qualified legal professional. We are happy to provide recommendations*

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