In 1985 clients of Osbornes, Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan, purchased a house. For various reasons they were not able to obtain a big enough mortgage to purchase the property they wanted just on their salaries.
They decided to approach Mrs Ali-Khan’s sister to be a party to the mortgage. She agreed and this enabled them to mobtain the mortgage necessary to purchase the property. Mrs Ali-Khan’s sister was a solicitor and she agreed to do the conveyancing on the purchase. It was agreed between the parties that the sister would have no interest in the property and that she was to be a party to the mortgage only.
Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan paid the deposit, all expenses, maintenance costs, bills, and the mortgage repayments. It was never anticipated that the sister would contribute anything to the expense of maintaining the property. This position persisted for many years and in 2010 the mortgage was paid off in full.
The Land Registry then sent a copy of the title register to Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan as the mortgage charge had been removed from the title. When they received this documents they were surprised to find that the sister’s name was on the title register. The title register had not been provided to them at the time of purchase by the sister. They had assumed that the sister’s name was not on the title as her only involvement had been to get the mortgage, which she was a party to.
In the intervening years Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan had fallen out with the sister. They now tried to contact her to ask that she remove her name. After numerous attempts to contact her, the sister confirmed that she would not agree to remove her name and considered herself to be a one third owner of the property.
A claim was issued by Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan asserting that there was no common intention at the time of purchase, or subsequently, that the sister should have any interest in the property.
The claim was resisted by the sister and the matter was listed for a 5 day trial at the County Court at Central London before His Honour Judge Parfitt. The Judge accepted the factual account provided by Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan and he made a declaration that they were the sole beneficial owners of the property.”
William Ford, property litigation lawyer and partner at Osbornes who represented Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan commented:
“I was very pleased to have been able to help Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan reach a successful outcome in this case. Their account of the facts was consistent from the outset and was clearly supported by the available evidence. Simply put, this was their home and they had worked hard to own it outright. The Defendant, by contrast, had not contributed anything towards the financial costs of maintaining the property. I know my clients will now just be glad to put the stress of this litigation behind them and move on with their lives”.
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