My wife bought a property in London six years ago with her colleague/friend. My wife and her c/f are joint owners as per the mortgage and land registry.

But my wife's c/f never paid even a single penny or invested a single penny towards the mortgage or improvements and any bills. She basically helped my wife by providing her employment details to show the affordability of the mortgage. My wife paid all deposit, every month mortgage went from my wife's bank account. My wife's c/f never stayed in the property with us.

My wife's c/f got her council flat and she lived their and she paid her rent. Everything went on well, they haven't made any agreements till date. Suddenly one day the council found my wife's c/f name on the land registry and asked her explanation. She (c/f) said the truth. My wife sent a letter of truth declaration to the council through her C/f saying that "my colleague/friend just came forward to help me to buy a property (due to affordability) but she does not have any share or ownership interest of the property however her name is in the mortgage and land registry. She had never contributed any money towards the deposit or mortgage or repair works of the property. She also confirms this". However the council did not listen to this but evicted my wife's c/f. Now she has rented a private flat.

The real problem starts here: now my wife's c/f went through the lawyers and asking a huge compensation. Also she is demanding my wife to sell the property and release the equity.

  • If my wife's c/f goes to the court would my wife need to pay a huge compensation?

  • Is my wife's c/f really a co owner of this property?

Please any suggestions to come out of this situation?. Our children and we are in very stressful situation. Thank You.

  • 9
    Looks like a legal question, probably one that needs a lawyer's guidance. Apr 24, 2023 at 14:12
  • 2
    And you+wife+children are now living in the property? Frankly, it's a pretty bizarre thing for the c/f to do. It probably required actively lying on both the mortgage application and the council flat application. So there is unlikely to be any clear precedent for how this will play out. Apr 24, 2023 at 14:25
  • The first thing to figure out is whether this friend is panicked because of the hit on her finances and wishes things went back the way they were, or trying to squeeze as much out of the situation as possible. Do you know how much her rent increase is? Do the math on whether "paying her new expense" is valued more or less than half the house.
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 25, 2023 at 1:14
  • 6
    I have a feeling that to include someone on a mortgage application, claiming to be a joint applicant, just so that their income, credit rating, etc, would make the application 'go through', might be mortgage fraud in the UK. This could lead to the lender cancelling the mortgage and demanding the remaining balance, and maybe prosecution for fraud. I would advise seeing a lawyer for that reason, as well as sorting out who owns (and owes) what. Apr 25, 2023 at 15:02
  • 3
    It sounds as though your wife didn't understand that by naming someone as a joint owner on the property deeds, that is equivalent to giving them half (or whatever proportion is specified) of the value of the property. Your wife's c/f now legally owns half (etc) of that property regardless of whether or not she's contributed to the mortgage, upkeep etc. So she's asking for the property to be sold and to have "her half" of the money, a perfectly legal (if morally questionable) request. You will definitely need a solicitor who specialises in property disputes to help you on this.
    – Vicky
    Apr 28, 2023 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


If my wife's c/f goes to the court would my wife need to pay a huge compensation?

That's a question to an attorney. Find a local real estate attorney solicitor who specialises in property disputes for an initial consultation. From what it sounds per your description, your wife did nothing wrong, and I don't see what your c/f would demand to be compensated for, but courts/law may see things differently.

Is my wife's c/f really a co owner of this property?

Again, a good question to ask an attorney, but from what you've described it sounds like yes, c/f is really a co-owner of this property.

  • 1
    "Real estate attorney" is not a thing in the UK. In UK terms, you need a solicitor who specialises in property disputes.
    – Vicky
    Apr 28, 2023 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Vicky updated, thanks
    – littleadv
    Apr 28, 2023 at 14:52

but she does not have any share or ownership interest of the property however her name is in the mortgage and land registry

An entry on the Land Registry stating joint ownership is proof of ownership (joint ownership in this case) and thus a legal interest in the property.

Being forced to sell or forced to provide the c/f's share of the house's equity is likely to be a tricky legal issue. Obtaining legal advice is critical.

  • Can a 'legal interest' flow from a crime? Apr 28, 2023 at 18:39
  • @MichaelHarvey that's a pretty complicated question, particularly as if there was a crime then probably both parties committed it. Apr 29, 2023 at 8:16
  • @MichaelHarvey But did the intended crime actually happen? Presumably the intention was that c/f would be presented to the mortgage company as a co-buyer of the house, when actually only wife was buying it. But it sounds like it went wrong and now c/f actually is a co-owner.
    – Simon B
    Apr 29, 2023 at 13:26
  • 1
    @SimonB - if the mortgage was obtained using false information, then I believe that may have constituted the offence of fraud at the time of application. Apr 29, 2023 at 13:44
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey Too many unknowns. Was the mortgage provider aware of the situation or not? Was there intent to defraud? Was there an agreement between parties on how/when the house would/could be sold? Is it in writing? If not in writing, is it enforceable? Is there an equitable remedy if no written contract. Did solicitors/conveyancers conspire?
    – Steve Kidd
    Apr 30, 2023 at 11:56

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