Call Us Contact Us
Call us on: Free phone 02920 404020

Applying to Court for an Order for Sale

Buying a property with a friend can seem like a good idea, but what happens if things don’t go to plan? As tenants in common, the easiest way of sorting out this arrangement is to agree to buy the other out or decide on the best way to dispose of the property that works for both parties.

However, if neither party can agree then one option available to you is to apply to court for an order of sale. This can be a costly process and can cause animosity between the two tenants in common, which is why it is often a last resort.

What is an Order for Sale?

When a property is held in joint names, but a sale cannot be agreed upon, then one of the parties involved can apply to court for an Order for Sale. This is found in sections 14 and 15 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.  

If a property is owned jointly, except for very specific and unusual situations, the property is deemed to be held on what is termed as a “Trust for Sale”. As a result, the starting position is that if either party wants the property to be sold, it should be.

A court will therefore require very strong evidence to prevent a sale taking place.

A court will however expect the parties to reach an agreement if one party makes a reasonable offer to purchase the other party’s share.


Case Study - We Bought a House as ‘Tenants in Common’. I Want to Sell and the Other Person Doesn’t!

Q: Six years ago, my friend and I invested in a property as "tenants in common". When we bought the house, we both agreed that we would hold on the property for at least five years, and then look at selling it. 

In the intervening years, I have got married, while my friend has left the UK and is working abroad. I’m now looking for the exit strategy that we discussed, but he wants to continue owning the property.

What are our rights? Can tenants in common force a sale? Or is there a way I can make him sell his share to me so that my spouse and I can own it and live in it as our family home?

A: Tenants in common each own a separate and distinct share in the property they've invested in.

Hopefully you entered into a declaration of trust at the outset, confirming the terms of your agreement. If you did, then that should contain provisions regarding the disposal of the property, so remind your friend of its terms. With this in mind, you should be able to try and reach an agreement.

However, if there was no declaration of trust, you could offer to buy out your friend for a fair price.

Forcing the Sale of a Property

If you can't agree, you could tell your friend that you intend to apply to court for an order for sale. This option will be costly and will be likely to reduce the property's sale proceeds. It may also prove to be a bone of contention between the two of you.

Ensure that the court awards you conduct of the sale – then you will at least have some control over events.

If your co-owner is particularly obstructive and refuses to sign anything, you could end up having to make an application for the court to sign the "contract for sale and transfer" – which is all costly. It is always much better if you can reach agreement and highlights the importance of confirming agreements legally at the start of a process.


How to Apply to Court for the Order for Sale

Applying to court for the Order for Sale is something that you should appoint a solicitor to do on your behalf. If there are no dependants living in the property or other special circumstances, then it will be very difficult for the other party

then this should be a relatively straightforward process. If there are other things to consider then it is well worth seeking legal advice before following this course of action.

To apply for order of sale you will need to issue proceedings at the County Court.

Apply for an Order for Sale with Howells Solicitors

If you’re looking for legal advice or representation to help you get through this stage, then talk to Howells Solicitors today. With a wealth of experience and friendly, professional lawyers who aim to make applying to court for order for sale as smooth as possible – talk to us today on 02920 404020.

A Will may be written some time before death. It is not unheard of for a named Executor(s) to die before the Testator. If one or more of the Executors dies it may be that the Will names one or more other Executors. It would then be for those Executors named to take up their entitlement to the Grant of Representation to the Will.

If all of the named Executors have died or are unwilling to be appointed, the order of who is entitled has to be established by using the NCPR 1987. It may be that a beneficiary under the Will could become the Personal Representative. It is therefore important if you find yourself in this sort of situation that you seek legal advice on who can apply for the Grant of Representation;

How do I apply for the Grant of Representation?

You can apply for the Grant of Representation if you are a Personal Representative (PR) of the estate. A Personal Representative or PR could be an Executor named in a Will or an Administrator, where there is no Will.

There are two main types of Grant of Representation; the appropriate one will depend on the circumstances of the estate. The two main types of Grant of Representation are as follows; More...

When it comes to a divorce, one of the biggest assets is often a pension. Since 1st December 2000, the court can grant a pension sharing order against either party giving shared rights to the pension through a legal arrangement.

But what is a Pension Sharing Order (PSO) and how can it affect you? Let’s take a look:

The Pension Sharing Order Process

If a marriage has come to an end and one partner is left without a pension entitlement, then a PSO distributes the assets that are held within an existing pension. Pension Sharing Orders allow a clean break between parties and make the need to start a new pension redundant.

As part of a divorce process, assets within a marriage are assessed and divided between the couple. Pension Sharing Orders mean that these assets also include the monetary value of any pensions – this allows for one party to get a percentage of the total value of the other person’s pension in the split.

Instead of earmarking this money for retirement, the pension is split using pension credit which can be transferred into an existing pension, a new pension or an extra pension in an existing scheme. More...

A new law for landlords and letting agents is being introduced today in an attempt to raise standards in the private rented sector in Wales.

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 Part 1 requires all landlords and letting agents to become registered and licenced over the next 12 months.

This new legislation replaces the existing voluntary Landlord Accreditation Wales scheme.

What are the aims of this new legislation?

‘Educating Welsh landlords and agents to improve private renting for all.’ More...

Divorce is a tricky business and it can be made even more complicated when a family business is involved. There are many ways that this situation can be sorted out, depending on a number of factors, but the most important thing to do is have the business properly valued.

How to Value a Business

Estimates are not good in this situation, so it is important that you have a fair valuation of your business. In order to accurately value a small business for divorce you need to take the approach that best matches your business model. There are three things you need to consider when valuing a small business, these are as follows:

1. Assets– if your business is asset heavy, then working out the cost of your buildings, machines, products, raw materials, etc., will help to create the core value of your business.

2. Cash flow – look at the forecast future of your expected revenues and costs to find a net profit (typically over 5 years) in order to achieve a terminal value. This figure should then take into account the riskiness of your business to bring in the predicted amount, thus giving your business a cash flow figure. More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes