Can You Force A House Sale

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The topic of what circumstances can you force a house sale in the UK comes up often. The situation arises where a house needs to be sold even when the owner doesn’t want to sell, this is termed a “forced sale.”

Divorce Or Separation

One such circumstance that arises where the question is often asked, “Can a joint owner of a property force a sale?” is divorce or separation. Taking the step to sell the family home is often difficult for all parties involved. As you are considering this option, there are a few things to think through:

-What is the fair market value of the family home?

-How much is still owed on the mortgage of the family home?

-Does the family home have any other debts or liens against it that may affect the sale of the home?

-How will the proceeds of the sale of the family home be split between both spouses involved?

The Forced Sale Of A Property, Especially The Family Home, Maybe The Best Option Amid A Divorce Or A Separation If:

-The family home sits in a market that is on the decline and you want to sell it before the decline is too steep and you end up losing money on it.

-The family home needs repairs that are unaffordable for both spouses.

-The mortgage payments are too high for either one of the spouses to pay on their own once the divorce or separation is finalised.

-Spouses are not cooperating and are not able to reach an agreement on the price to ask or spouses cannot reach an agreement on how the proceeds of a sale will be divided between them.

In any of these situations, it will behove you to ask the court to put into place an order of sale. You are not able to force a sale upon the spouse you are separating from or divorcing. This has to be done by the courts. If the courts find that it is in the best interest of both people, then they will force the sale of a house to benefit all involved and it will be determined how the proceeds are to be split among both spouses involved.

Creditors And Debts

Another circumstance that may arise when it comes to the forced sale of a property has to do with creditors. You may be wondering, “Can creditors take my house in the UK?” Creditors putting a charge on a property can happen if you owe money to them and they go to the courts to seek out a judgment against you. When a creditor goes to court to obtain a judgment against you, they must send a letter to you that notifies you that they have made this application in the courts. Once the notice has been sent to you the court can make their decision. If their decision is in favour of the creditor that you owe money to, then the courts will place an order to sale on your home. When your home sells, the proceeds will first go to settle your debt with the creditor. If there are any proceeds left beyond your debt you will receive that money. The best idea is to contact your creditors so that you owe money before it comes to the point of them seeking an order to sell your home from the courts. Ask them for a payment plan and fulfil that payment plan to completion so that you do not find yourself in the predicament of possibly losing your home.

Willed Properties

Willed properties are another circumstance in which you might be asking about the forced sale of the house. The terms of the will are key in this situation. The terms of the will may include the option to sell the house so that debts to creditors can be paid off and the remaining assets can be distributed between the beneficiaries listed in the will. The named executor of the will is responsible for making sure that what the deceased listed out in the will is what happens to the home. It is recommended that the executor have a consultation with a solicitor. The solicitor can clearly explain the rights and responsibilities to the executor so that everything is done correctly.

Be aware, though, that there is a possibility that the executor may not be able to carry out the will as it is written by the deceased, in regards to the home if a creditor or beneficiary chooses to try to go to the courts for an order for sale. This process is not simple, thus if you find yourself in the position of needing to go to court to ask for a forced sale of a house you will want to seek out advice from an experienced solicitor. The solicitor can explain all of your rights as well as all options you may have. If you are going to file for an order for sale in the courts you will likely be the executor of the will and need to sell the home to pay off debts left by the deceased and distribute their assets. You may be one of two or more beneficiaries of the home and an agreement as to what to do with the property cannot be reached. You may have inherited the property and it needs so many expensive repairs that selling it would be the best option. The property you inherited in the will may be a financial burden to you due to your financial obligations and selling it would keep your finances in good standing. The judge will have to sign for the order of sale to be put into place.

Investment Property

An investment property could be another circumstance where an order of sale is sought out. Investment properties are risky and if you got into one and you are not going to be able to meet your goals with it, you may seek to get out of the investment. This can be done if you are unable to maintain the costs of the property or there is damage to the property which is not being addressed and you have a life estate. Alternatively, if you are in a situation where you are one of the multiple tenants and no one can agree upon selling the property, then you might be able to get an order for sale from a judge. Liens on a property that are not being addressed is another situation where you might be able to apply to a judge to sign for a forced sale of the house. If the owner of the home is not paying the mortgage, an order of sale might be issued, by a judge, as well. A tenant can force the sale of a house, through the courts, if they have “a tenant’s right of first refusal” listed in the lease. This simply means that the tenant has the right to purchase the house before it is listed.

Know Your Rights

No matter what circumstance you are in, if you are thinking about putting a charge on a property, be sure you know and understand all of your rights and options. It is important to do your research regarding the situation you are facing and what steps you need to take. Further, consulting with a solicitor or a lawyer is highly recommended. They can advise you on how to proceed and what your best outcome will be. The research you do before talking to a solicitor or lawyer will provide you with an informed conversation and you will also know what questions or concerns you need to raise during your consultation. Once you have completed your research and consulted with a solicitor or lawyer, you will have a clear understanding of how to move forward in seeking an order of sale for the property you are in charge of.

Understand The Disadvantages

You may also want to note the disadvantages. Seeking a sale order:

– can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful.  You will need to hire a solicitor, file a claim, serve the notice, gather evidence, attend hearings, and pay legal fees as well as court costs

– can be uncertain.  You will have no control over the outcome, how long it takes, or the price of the sale. You might be faced with opposition or counterclaims from co-owner(s), other beneficiaries or other parties.

– can be damaging. Your relationship with others involved will likely be hurt as resentment and animosity could affect how you interact with one another in the future.

Factors That Affect Your Ability To Force A House Sale

Whether you can force a house sale depends on various factors, such as:

– The type of co-ownership you have

– The reason for selling and how urgent your situation is

– The agreement between the co-owners. Was it written or verbal, formal or informal?

– The value and condition of the property and the market demand for it

– The availability and affordability of alternative options

– The willingness and cooperation of the other owners and other parties involved, such as lenders, creditors, or beneficiaries

– The legal implications and consequences of your action, such as tax liabilities, mortgage obligations, or inheritance rights

Toward A Better Understanding

Forcing a house sale can be a difficult and emotional decision, but sometimes it is necessary for financial reasons or personal circumstances. It is important to carefully consider all options and seek professional advice before taking any action. Whether buying or selling, working with a reputable estate agent can help ensure a smooth and fair process for all parties involved. Remember, the ultimate goal should be to achieve a positive outcome for everyone involved.

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