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My Ex Has Stopped Paying the Mortgage — What Next?

A divorce is usually a stressful and emotional event — more so when it involves joint home ownership. If your ex has stopped paying the mortgage, it’s important to understand your legal position and your responsibilities.

We’ve put together a short guide on what to do when a joint homeowner neglects their financial obligations.

Who is liable when a partner stops paying the mortgage?

If your name is on the mortgage, you’re liable for the repayments — whether or not you’ve been responsible for them in the past. If your partner suddenly stops making payments and you fall into arrears, your credit rating will be affected. And you’ll be jointly liable for any interest charges and fees.

Couple managing the debt. Ex stopped paying the mortgage

I want to stay in the property

If you want to live in the property even though your partner has stopped making mortgage repayments, your options might be limited. Contact your lender to explain the situation. There may be the option of a payment holiday or reducing the monthly repayments somehow. As long as you’re honest and communicate regularly, your lender might respond to your requests favourably.

But this is only a short-term solution. Sooner or later, your mortgage company will demand monthly repayments in full — along with any arrears due. If you have a steady income, you have the option of taking on the mortgage repayments yourself. However, doing so without a legal agreement in place regarding ownership of the property doesn’t improve your claim to it.

The best course of action is to appoint a solicitor to deal with the issue of property ownership. If you’re determined to stay in the home, you have the option of making an offer for your ex’s share.

I want to leave the property

My ex has stopped paying the mortgage

If you can’t afford the repayments on your own, or you want to move on, you can sell the house. However, you’ll need the permission of your ex — even if they’ve stopped making repayments.

Sell your house fast, and split what’s left after the mortgage has been settled. But remember: you might have to pay an early settlement fee. And you’ll need to pay any arrears and penalty charges using the proceeds of the sale.

Exactly how the proceeds of a house sale are split depends on the circumstances of the divorce. You can either agree on percentages between you or go to court and leave the decision to a judge. If you’ve been paying the mortgage on your own for several months, you might feel you’re owed more than half the equity.

What happens to my home if we have children?

If dependent children under the age of 18 are involved, the process is a little different. In most cases, the primary caregiver will get the right to remain in the property until all of the children turn 18. A judge might decide this even if your spouse wants to sell the house. The court will usually force your partner to contribute to the mortgage during this time. Alternatively, you might be in a position to buy your partner’s share of the property outright.

Dealing with property ownership during a messy divorce is often complex and very stressful. If you’re determined to sell up and move on as quickly as possible, we can help. We buy houses fast — and for up to 100 per cent of their value.

5 Reasons Property Downsizing is a Great Idea

Downsizing involves selling a larger home to buy a smaller property to free up cash for retirement or other things. Whether you want to buy a second home or just have more money in your pocket for leisure activities, trading down this way can change your life for the better.

While there are some drawbacks — including having less room in which to live — downsizing your home delivers several positive outcomes. Here are five of the most exciting.

1. Remove the clutter from your life

The more space we have, the more we tend to hoard. Many of us could quite easily move to a smaller property if we simply removed unwanted and unused possessions from our home.

Downsizing makes de-cluttering your life a necessity. You don’t have the space for all the items you’ve accumulated over the years, so you give them away or sell them. And that’s a very liberating experience. Having fewer possessions in your home means less cleaning — and less stress.

2. Generate cash

Downsizing property

If you can easily move to a smaller property, you have a great opportunity to generate cash for large purchases or lifestyle changes. If you have a lot of equity in your home, downsizing can free a lot of it up. And that’s money you can spend on holidays, the purchase of a car, putting your children through university or simply living a more fulfilling life.

You might want to pay off your debts and leave yourself with more disposable income every month. Unlock the value in your property by selling it, and use the cash to settle your loans, credit cards and hire purchase agreements.

3. Slash the cost of living

A large home is always more expensive to run than a small one. Take your energy bills, for example. A lot more gas is required to heat a four-bedroom house with large rooms than a one-bedroom apartment. And a lot more electricity is required to light the big spaces in the larger property.

Downsizing your home should result in lower maintenance and repair costs. And the cost of decorative works and renovations should be a lot lower, too. If all this isn’t impressive enough, you can also look forward to greatly reduced Council Tax bills.

4. A fresh start

Downsizing home for a new start

Living in a large home for several years doesn’t always give you the chance to create your personal space from scratch. You add to the property over many years. And then one day, you realise it’s nothing like the home you initially imagined.

Downsizing is an excellent opportunity to choose a home that suits your requirements. Perhaps your children have grown up and moved out. Or maybe you’ve decided to work from home now. It may be that your tastes have changed. Whatever the reason for downsizing, it’s a chance to start your life with a blank canvas.

5. Help the environment

If you own a large, older property, the chances are it’s not as environmentally friendly as it could be. And to make it so might cost several thousand pounds. But choose a smaller, new-build property, and those energy-saving features you want will probably be in place from day one.

A smaller home requires a lot less energy. And it’s built to modern standards of efficiency and energy preservation. You get to save a lot of money and reduce your own carbon footprint at the same time.

If you’re looking to downsize a home as quickly as possible, Flying Homes can help. We buy homes in the UK directly from owners, so you don’t need to waste time on marketing, negotiating and drawn-out legal processes.

What Happens to a Home When the Owner Dies Without a Will?

When a person dies without a Will, the process of bequeathing their assets can be complicated. The estate is divided based on rules of intestacy. In most cases, this means the closest living relatives to the deceased receive a proportion of the estate.

If a property owner in your family dies without a Will, you might have to take control of the process. We’ve put together a brief guide to the process involved to get you started.

Who can inherit property?

In the vast majority of cases, only close relatives of the deceased stand to inherit property from an intestate person. There are certain individuals who wouldn’t normally have an automatic right to inherit:

  • Partners who aren’t married or in a civil partnership
  • Carers
  • Friends
  • “In-laws” or relations through marriage

Why marriage is so important

What happens to a home when the owner dies without a Will?

In the UK, a spouse always takes priority in terms of inheritance. In fact, if you want your spouse or civil partner to receive everything when you pass away, you don’t need a Will. This is the legal default. Everything passes to a spouse if there isn’t a Will. And this rule applies if the partners were separated at the time of death.

Even children and grandchildren have no immediate right to inherit property from an intestate person. A legal process will decide where the assets should go. It might be the case that the estate is split up and shared between several close relatives if there isn’t a surviving spouse.

Property ownership

In the UK, couples buy property in two ways: joint tenancy and tenants in common. If the home of the deceased is co-owned with a spouse as a joint tenancy, the entire property automatically passes to the surviving spouse.

Tenants in common means each person owns a share of the property as if it were a separate entity. This means the deceased’s share won’t automatically transfer to the surviving partner. In most cases, the share would become another asset in the deceased’s estate. And it would be subject to inheritance tax if the total value of the estate exceeded HMRC’s threshold.

Do children automatically inherit intestate assets?

What happens to a home when the owner dies without a Will?

The simple answer is it depends. A child can inherit an estate if there’s no surviving spouse. If there’s a surviving parent, however, the child of the deceased would only inherit if the estate is worth more than £250,000.

If there’s more than one child, the estate would usually be split equally among all the siblings. When children inherit property after the passing of a parent, a court might order that the house is kept in trust until the children of the deceased become adults. After all, it might be a family home.

In most cases, children inherit property and assets if there are no surviving parents. And this includes adopted children, too. But the actual transfer of assets doesn’t usually happen until the beneficiary turns 18.

What if there are no living relatives?

If there are no living relatives at the time of the person’s death, the estate doesn’t pass to close friends or carers. The “bona vacantia” law states that the estate passes to the Crown. The government then decides what to do with the estate.

If you’ve inherited property, you might want to sell the house as quickly as possible. After all, you’re responsible for maintenance, council tax, mortgage repayments and any tenants in the property until the property changes hands. Flying Homes buys houses for up to 100% of their market value. And in many cases, completion occurs within a month of the initial offer.

How to Appeal Repossession of a House

The repossession of a house is often a devastating, life-changing event. While most repossession orders are avoidable, some are handed down by the courts erroneously.

Anyone who has their home repossessed has the right of appeal — on a range of grounds. Most successful appeals occur where the spectre of eviction was a factor. This is because the courts accept that people panic when their home is in jeopardy.

If you or your legal representative can demonstrate solid grounds for an appeal, there’s a reasonable chance of buying yourself more time.

Getting permission to appeal the repossession of a house

Appealing repossession of a house

An appeal is possible if you can demonstrate that the decision was incorrect, not fair or the result of procedural irregularities. You must have permission to appeal, however. The presiding judge grants this in most cases. But even if permission is initially refused, you have the option of asking a more senior judge.

The appeal process

You have 21 days from the date of the initial order to lodge an appeal. You’ll need to file the appeal at court, which requires the payment of a fee. Before you pay, however, ask the court if you qualify for fee exemption status.

You’ll be given a date for an appeal hearing. You or your legal representative will have to explain to a judge why you believe the repossession order should be reversed. The judge can decide on one of three options: order a new hearing, reverse the initial order or uphold the initial ruling.

Living in a rented home

If you rent your home and face eviction, the process is different. Nevertheless, you may be able to appeal an eviction order if you can demonstrate that your landlord didn’t follow the correct procedures.

Eviction from a home

Unfortunately, reversing an eviction notice as a tenant is very difficult in England and Wales. Your appeal won’t be possible under the following circumstances:

  • The landlord used a mandatory reason for eviction under an assured tenancy
  • The landlord used the “section 21” procedure to evict under an assured shorthold
  • You’re a council tenant, and you have a demoted or introductory tenancy
  • You’re living in halls of residence as a student

The court can grant a possession order to a landlord who makes an application to the court. If granted, the court sets a date by which you have to vacate the property. If you fail to leave by that date, bailiffs can be sent to remove you forcibly.

Appealing possession orders

You might be able to apply to the court for a change to the house repossession order. This might be possible if certain procedures weren’t followed during the eviction process. A judge may agree to postpone or suspend the date of possession while further negotiations or investigations occur. You may also get extra time to leave.

If you’re fighting repossession, selling your house fast might be the best option. At least this way you can move on without the event tarnishing your credit record. Flying Homes can buy homes in a matter of days — helping you to stop the repossession process before it reaches court.

A Guide to Property Inheritance

Dealing with property and legal issues is the last thing anyone wants to do after the death of a loved one. But it’s something that has to be done eventually. Property inheritance, in particular, is often a complex issue to deal with, so it’s important to know how to approach it from the outset.

If you’re facing the difficult issue of dealing with property inheritance, you need answers to a few crucial questions.

There isn’t a will. What do I do?

If a close relative passed away without a Will, you could apply for a grant of representation. This gives you access you the deceased’s financial affairs, bank accounts, and assets.

What does the law say about property inheritance?

Property inheritance tax

Inheritance tax applies to estates worth over £325,000. If the deceased’s estate is worth more than this, the tax is payable at a rate of 40% on anything over this threshold. This tax doesn’t apply if the deceased was your spouse or civil partner, however.

What should be my first steps?

The first thing to do in relation to inherited property is to check whether or not there’s an outstanding mortgage. If there is, you should be able to negotiate a brief delay in repayments. This gives you time to mourn and decide what you’re going to do with the property.

If you’re the administrator of the estate or the executor of the Will, you’ll need to declare the full value of the estate to HMRC within a year of the deceased’s passing.

If the property is standing empty, you should buy unoccupied insurance immediately. This should cover damage to the property, vandalism, and theft. The terms of your policy may require you to check the condition of the home every week or so.

What can I do with my inherited property?

Move in

If you’ve inherited the property alone, there’s nothing stopping you from moving in immediately after probate is complete. But you’ll need to take on the mortgage repayments, and you’ll be liable for any debts attached to the property.

Sell the property

Property inheritance: Selling a house

You may already own your own home — in which case owning a second may not be appealing. You may not want to take on mortgage repayments. Or you might want to avoid maintaining and renting out the property. Whatever your reasons are, you might want to sell as quickly as possible.

If you’re in a hurry to raise funds or simply move on, selling to a national home buyer might be the best option. SellPropertyFastCash buys residential property for up to 100% of its market value. And because there’s no property chain or negotiations involved, you could have the proceeds in your bank account within a month.

If the inherited property increases in value between the death of the owner and the date of completion, you may be liable for capital gains tax.

Let the property

You have the option of letting your property for an additional income. But you’ll have to maintain the home and satisfy all the legal requirements of landlords in the UK. This may not be something you want to take on at this stressful time in your life.

And if you let your property, you’ll need to declare the income for tax purposes.

Property inheritance is always a tricky issue to manage, as it only ever occurs when a loved one passes away. Decide what you want to do with the home, and get the necessary advice from professionals as soon as possible.

Tips for Making the Best Offer for a Property

Finding the perfect home is only the beginning of the house buying process. You have to compete with other buyers. And you have to be sure that you make the best offer for the property — without paying over the odds.

This process is often fraught with confusion, stress, and the unknown. After all, how do you know your offer is good enough without being excessive?

We know a thing or two about buying houses fast. We’ve put together a few tips for making the best offer for a property.

Speak with the estate agent

The estate agent isn’t just there to show you around the property. They’re there to answer any questions you might have. And you should have lots of questions. Before you view a house, compile a list of pertinent questions.

  • Why are the owners selling?
  • Are there any issues with neighbours?
  • How is the local property market performing?
  • Has the property undergone major repairs recently?
  • Has there been much interest in the property?

Don’t be afraid to make a few notes at the time. The more information you can gather at this stage, the more accurate your own valuation will be.

So, you’ve found the perfect home — the property of your dreams. But don’t go rushing in with an offer. And certainly don’t offer the asking price just because you want the property so badly. Remember: most agents and homeowners will add a little to the asking price to create a little wiggle room for negotiations.

Making the best offer for a house

Ask yourself a few questions before you submit your offer:

  • How long has the house been up for sale?
  • What were the sale prices for similar homes in the area over the last two years?
  • Will you get the finance to cover the price you’re offering?
  • Can you comfortably afford the repayments?
  • Does the owner appear in a hurry to sell? And if so, why?
  • Is there a lot of competition for the property?
  • Do you think the owners would accept less than the asking price?

Making your offer

Start by setting a price ceiling. Work out the maximum you can afford, and stick to it. If you’re confident that the vendors are in a rush to sell, and that there isn’t a lot of interest in the property, offer around £10,000 to £15,000 less than the initial asking price. In most cases, such a low offer will be rejected almost immediately. But you never know. And this initial offer might give you an idea of an offer the owner might find acceptable.

If there’s a lot of competition for the property, you can’t afford to take too many risks. If your initial offer is rejected, ask the estate agent what might be accepted. If it’s beyond your budget, move on. But first, think about how the owners might view you. You might be in a position to move quickly, and that could give you the edge.

Making the best offer for a home

Issues that can tip the balance in your favour include:

  • You’re a first-time buyer
  • You already have a mortgage offer
  • You’re passionate about the property
  • You’re flexible about moving dates
  • You’re a cash buyer

My bid was accepted. What next?

Don’t get too carried away if your bid is accepted. This is just the beginning of the house purchase process. Ask the agent to take the property off the market. But be aware that there’s no legal requirement to do so. To ensure you get the home of your dreams, you need to act quickly.

The seller’s agent will create a document stating the property is sold “subject to survey and contract.” You’ll have a limited amount of time to get your mortgage, house sale (if applicable) and legal arrangements in order.

And don’t forget: in England and Wales, the seller can accept a higher offer without legal impediment. So-called gazumping is still an issue. Plan for this eventuality just in case the worst happens.

Knowing how and when to place a bid is crucial. But if you’re worried that a delay in the sale of your own home might delay things, remember that Flying Homes might be able to purchase it quickly and without any hassle.

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