Property Ownership Disputes

Joint Ownership Disputes And Shares In Property

If you are caught up in a dispute with a partner, family member, friend or business associate over a property that you own together, we can help. Our specialist solicitors are experts in the industry. We work hard to protect your investment and secure the best possible outcome for everyone involved

Contact us


Joint property ownership disputes solicitors

Owning property jointly with a partner or friend should be a straightforward experience, but sometimes it results in a challenging dispute with someone close to you. At Osbornes Law, we go the extra mile to deal with your ownership dispute quickly so that you can all move on to the next stage in your lives. We understand that co-owned properties are not only a place for you to live in, but also a significant financial investment. We work hard to help you protect that.

About jointly owned property disputes

It’s common for couples, family members, friends and business partners to buy property together. But what happens when the relationship breaks down? In these situations, disputes can arise easily. Essential to resolving the problem is understanding what each owner is legally entitled to, so everyone can walk away happy.

Our property litigation solicitors advise both residential and commercial property owners on the best options to protect their interests. We offer expert advice in a wide range of situations:

  • Cohabiting couples who purchased property together without documenting their ownership shares
  • Where someone’s name is not on the title but they contributed to the purchase price, mortgage payments, improvement works or household expenses 
  • Where parents have provided the deposit for a property purchased by their child, and the relationship later breaks down
  • Disagreements between co-owners over what they should do with the property, such as sell it, improve it, live in it or rent it out
  • Problems with inherited property where the owners disagree on how to deal with it

The most common property ownership disputes involve family breakdown which means there is a lot at stake. As a full-service law firm, we can lean on the expertise of property litigation lawyers and family lawyers to resolve your property ownership dispute and put all the protections in place for a stress-free future. 

To learn more about how our expert team can help, please call us today or fill in an online form and we will call you back.

Contact our Property Litigation Lawyers Today

For a free initial conversation call 0207 485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

    • Shilpa really helped us take charge of the situation and helped resolve this property dispute. I would not hesitate to recommend her or the team to anyone in a similar situation.

      David A, Trustpilot Review

    • On first meeting Shilpa I was sure that she understood immediately my requirements, and was sympathetic both to my financial restraints and my emotional state. She achieved everything I asked of her and proved to be invaluable, professional and efficient

      P Ashcroft, Trustpilot Review

    • At every step Shilpa alleviated any concerns and stresses we had. Always fast to respond, always professional and super knowledgeable.

      Trustpilot review

    • Shilpa has helped us through some key property litigation matters (residential and commercial) since 2014 and has delivered on every occasion. One particular issue had kept us in a state of stress and tension for almost a decade and after getting in touch with Shilpa she was able to help us bring the matter to a peaceful and successful conclusion.

      Trustpilot review

    • I received a call from Shilpa Mathuradas a couple of hours after filling the enquiry form for a callback. She actively listened to my party wall concerns responding with gentle professionalism, answering my concerns, letting me know what is and is not possible and when best to bring in a solicitor. All this within 10 minutes. Excellent.

      Trustpilot review

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • Excellent in every aspect.

      Property Department Client

    • If I had another reason to have to seek legal advice again, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Shilpa, and would recommend her to anybody who needed legal advice.

      Property Litigation client

    • Shilpa was professional, realistic, and unflappable. Shilpa managed to persuade a reluctant witness to come forward to support my case. She obviously knows her subject very well.

      Property Litigation client

    • I always had full confidence in Shilpa keeping my best interests at heart. I often didn’t understand the legal language, and she would follow this up with a phone call and patiently explain.

      Property Litigation client

    Property Ownership Disputes FAQs

    What is joint ownership of property?

    When two or more people own a property, they do so either as joint tenants or tenants in common. 

    Joint tenants own the property in equal shares regardless of how much each owner contributed to it. 

    Tenants in common may own the property in equal or unequal shares – for example, 60/40, 70/30 or 20/30/50. Each owner’s share is usually agreed upon when they purchase the property. This should be written down in a Declaration of Trust.

    Why do property ownership disputes arise?

    Often, a dispute will arise when the property owners cannot agree whether to sell a property. If they don’t agree, then one of the owners will have to apply to the Court for an order that the property be sold. 

    The issue then is how to divide the sale proceeds. A second dispute may arise when there is no Declaration of Trust and the owners do not agree on the ownership share. 

    We deal with a wide range of circumstances in which disputes like these have arisen. Our property ownership disputes team has considerable experience in this area and offers high-quality advice in a pragmatic way. 

    How do you resolve property ownership disputes?

    The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) allows the Courts to make certain decisions about how a property is owned. The Court cannot vary who owns the shares in a property, but they can look at all the facts and make a declaration of ownership.  

    Some of the things a Court will look at include: 

    • Who contributed what to the purchase price
    • What the owners’ intentions were at the time of purchase 
    • Whether anyone spent additional money spent on the property, such as paying for a new kitchen or roof repairs
    • Whether someone paid the mortgage, rent or household bills 

    Fortunately, litigation is not always necessary. Our team of property litigation solicitors have a strong record of resolving ownership disputes through negotiation, mediation and other collaborative practices. We will always try to get a good result for you by negotiating with the other side from a position of strength. 

    If the claim must face court action, we will be there to fight your case when the time comes.

    How do I avoid joint property ownership disputes?

    For property co-owners, prevention is always better than cure. You can avoid many disputes by choosing the right ownership structure before you buy a property with someone, and making sure that your intentions are recorded in a Declaration of Trust. By having a written agreement, it is a lot clearer from the beginning where both parties stand. 

    Where disputes do arise, we can step in to help you with legal backing. With an expert team at your disposal, you’ll be best placed to succeed in your case.

    Why choose Osborne’s property ownership solicitors?

    Our specialist property disputes solicitors have over four decades of experience helping property co-owners with their ownership disputes. Our firm is top rated by several independent legal directors, including Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, so you can be assured that you will deal with some of the best property disputes solicitors in the country. We believe in the personalised approach, so that’s exactly what you’ll receive.

    For Property Ownership Disputes Advice Contact Us

    For a free initial conversation call 0207 485 8811

    Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

      Property News & InsightsVIEW ALL

      1. 22.3.2024

        The Death of Section 21: A Review of the...

        The 2019 Conservative Manifesto made a commitment to end “no fault evictions”. This has now been set out in the proposed...

        Read more
      2. 22.3.2024

        Client successful in TOLATA proceedings

        The case related to proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“TOLATA”) in respect of joint...

        Read more
      3. 23.1.2024

        The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill and Service...

        The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 27 November 2023 with the aim of delivering on the government’...

        Read more
      4. 23.1.2024

        Know your Rights (of Way)

        If you have a question or concern over a right of way on your property, it is important to seek...

        Read more
      5. 23.1.2024

        Party Wall Etc Act 1996 v Common Law

        The case of Power & Kyson & Shah [2023] EWICA Civ 239 brought in question the interrelationship between common law and the...

        Read more
      6. 27.10.2023

        The Building Safety Act 2022

        This much awaited Act was introduced into Parliament on 5th May 2021 as a consequence of the Hackitt Report on Building...

        Read more
      7. service charges

        “Reasonableness” of Service Charges

        It is well known that the relevant costs that a landlord incurs in the provision of services, repairs improvements, maintenance...

        Read more
      8. Japanese Knotweed

        Japanese Knotweed: Knot in my backyard again!

        Many will have read the recent case in which a furniture designer pursued his seller successfully after he moved into...

        Read more
      9. london property

        TOLATA Claims

        What are trusts of land? Property ownership is not always a straightforward legal issue, particularly where the parties are cohabitees...

        Read more
      10. right to light

        Right to Light Explained

        Right to Light Law in the UK Property owners have a legal right to light as set out in the...

        Read more
      11. flats in a london street

        Landlords and the Dangers of Rent-to-Rent

        Rent-to-Rent refers to the practice of landlords letting a whole property to a tenant (usually a limited company), which is...

        Read more
      12. Green ecological house in empty field

        Can I still claim adverse possession?

        The principle of “adverse possession” commonly known as “squatters rights” is a principle which allows a person who does not...

        Read more
      13. party wall disputes

        Buying a Property with a Party Wall Agreement

        Introduction to buying a house with a party wall agreement Buying a property can already be a stressful process but...

        Read more
      14. people talking

        The Risks Of Buying Properties Off Plan!

        The Daily Mail reported that 300 families a week have to move into shoddy newly built homes. Not all will have...

        Read more
      15. Carole Patterson

        Costly clauses missed by lawyers in leasehold contracts

        A mum has been left facing a bill of millions of pounds a year for the ground rent of her...

        Read more
      16. plot of land

        Easements – Five Questions Answered

        What is an easement? An easement is a right benefitting a piece of land (known as the dominant land) that...

        Read more
      17. 6.2.2020

        ‘Glass in Hand’ Lecture – Should we be nervous...

        Hampstead residents will be able to find out about their legal rights when trees damage or overhang their property, next...

        Read more
      18. 11.10.2019

        Government eviction reforms “risk increasing delays”

        Government plans to end so-called ‘no fault’ evictions – and at the same time expand what amounts to a good reason...

        Read more
      19. 13.8.2019

        Osbornes win 5 day trial in property dispute at...

        In 1985 clients of Osbornes, Mr and Mrs Ali-Khan, purchased a house. For various reasons they were not able to obtain...

        Read more
      20. 12.8.2019

        Basement developments- How to fight back

        Basement developments are growing ever more popular, particularly in wealthy London boroughs, leaving homeowners fearful that neighbours’ excavation projects will...

        Read more
      21. 18.7.2019

        New Builds, Poor Standards!

        This week’s Dispatches programme examined allegations of shoddy standards, poor customer care and excessive profits from one of Britain’...

        Read more
      22. 10.4.2019

        Tenant Fees Act 2019 – Landlords & Letting Agents be Warned

        On 12 February 2019, the Tenant Fees Bill received Royal Assent and comes into effect on the 1 June 2019 The Act prevents landlord...

        Read more
      23. rooms to let sign

        Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation to be...

        In an attempt to raise standards for all relevant Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), changes are afoot and come into...

        Read more

      VIEW ALL