Force the Sale of Property With an “Order for Sale”

When more than one person owns property disputes are always a worry. Complication and financial issues can complicate the issue which can eventually lead to one person wanting out. If the owners are married this can be due to a divorce. When one person wants the house to be sold but the other doesn’t (normally because they are living in it) then it is possible for the courts to step in and force the sale. They will do this with what is known as an Order for Sale.

If the relationship between the two owners is romantic then the common result of a separation is one owner moves out of the property while the other remains living there. This can be distressing to everyone, but especially to the person who cannot live in the house they partially own. An order for sale would be used in this instance because the resident in the property will probably refuse the sale as they get the house to themselves! The courts step in to help everyone move on with their lives with the investment that they have put into the property.

How to Determine Who Owns of the Property

This can be a difficult question, especially in romantic situations. Whenever a property is owned by two or more people, a trust for the land will be created. In some situations when property is bought this trust is not property considered. Excitement of purchasing a property, or excitement of taking the next steps in a relationship results in unhappiness and unfairness when the ownership of the property becomes very important, which is when it is time for it to be sold. How the proceeds will be split from the Order for Sale can be decided by the courts which is the other very important aspect of an Order for Sale.

The application for an Order for Sale should be made to the courts under section 14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of the Trustees Act. The courts will then consider several factors before they grant an Order for Sale:

  • Why was the property bought in the first place
  • Is there any children living in the property? (The courts will not grant an order for sale if it will force a child to move or cause a lot of disruption to the child’s life.
  • Will any children’s welfare be improved if the property is sold.
  • How much each party contributed to the purchase.
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