Dealing with a relationship breakdown is difficult enough without the added obstacle of living in a property together. Unlike married couples, unmarried couples who live together don’t have the same legal protection over a property when they break up.
This is where the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TOLATA) comes in. This legislation allows the Court to decide what happens to a property when an unmarried couple can’t agree what will happen to their property once they separate. It’s a complex area of law so it’s important to get specialist legal advice.
Our Dispute Resolution Solicitors can advise you on your specific situation, whether you’re looking to make a TOLATA claim or defend one. Get in touch for a free consultation today.
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What is a TOLATA Claim?
Under TOLATA, the Court can decide the ownership of a property when there is a dispute. A separating couple might disagree about who will live in the property, whether to sell it, or even who owns it.
The Court can make orders related to:
- How the property will be shared between you and your ex
- Who will live in the property
- Selling the property
- Giving one of you access to the property if the other has refused it
- Repaying a third party, such as a parent or grandparent, for their financial interest in a property e.g. if they helped to pay for the deposit
How Simpson Millar Can Help You
Our Dispute Resolution Solicitors have years of experience in helping separated couples settle disputes over a property, and helping them reach a fair arrangement.
We can help you with:
- Making a TOLATA claim
- Defending a TOLATA claim
- Resolving a dispute over your property
- Making a Professional Negligence Claim against a Solicitor or Conveyancer
Trying to resolve the issue outside of Court is usually the best option for everyone involved. Going to Court can be time-consuming, costly and stressful, especially if there are children involved in your separation.
Our Solicitors will arrange negotiations or mediation with you and your former partner to try and reach an agreement that works for you both.
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Why Choose Simpson Millar?
- As specialists in both Family Law and Dispute Resolution, we understand the complexities of TOLATA legislation, putting us in the very best position to handle your case.
- We’re the ‘open lawyers’, who give clear, straightforward legal advice, without the legal jargon.
- We’re regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) so you can be confident that we’ll handle your case with the highest level of professionalism.
- As members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA), we can also advise you about making a Professional Negligence Claim if you received poor advice from a Conveyancer or Solicitor when purchasing your property.
What is the TOLATA Claims Process?
If the dispute can’t be resolved through mediation or negotiation, we can help you make a TOLATA claim, which could mean going to Court.
The claims process will usually go like this:
- We’ll send your ex-partner what’s known as a Letter Before Claim. This sets out the details of your case along with any supporting evidence we’ve gathered.
- Your ex-partner has a set amount of time to respond to the Letter Before Claim (usually around 14-30 days). They’ll put forward their case in their response.
- You should try to reach an early settlement through negotiations. This is better for both of you as it’s quicker, cheaper and less risky than going to Court. We’ll do everything we can to help you reach a mutual agreement so you won’t need to go to Court.
- If an agreement can’t be reached, and we think you’ve got a strong case, we’ll start Court proceedings. After hearing both sides of the case, the Judge will decide what happens to your property. If it reaches this stage, don’t worry, we’ll be with you every step of the way.
If you’d like advice about a property dispute and support with making or defending a TOLATA claim, our experienced Solicitors will be happy to help you. Get in touch for a free initial discussion.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.