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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 of sale. This is found in section 14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.  

Essentially, this provides a court order that requires specific and justified evidence as to why the offending party won’t agree the sale. If no argument is provided to counter the claim to sell, then the Order for Sale legally forces the second party to agree the sale.

How to Apply to Court for the Order for Sale

Applying to court for the Order for Sale is something that you could do yourself or ask a solicitor to do on your behalf. If there are no dependants living in the property or other special circumstances, 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 go to County Court and obtain a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This will provide you with a decision where either the order is granted or if no instalment order has been granted.

Once you’ve been granted the CCJ you can start the process of applying for an Order for Sale. To do this you will need to attend another hearing where they will take your situation into account and, if awarded, will give you the right to take possession of the property and sell it to recover monies within their charge.

Order for Sale is applied for via Part 73.10 CPR and with jointly owned property the court needs to consider the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 to come to a decision.

Next Steps

After the order for sale has been issued, the second party should comply with the sale, however in some cases they can continue to be difficult. In this happens then you may need to go back to court to have the judge sign on their behalf – this can be done for both Contract of Sale and completion. This can drastically slow down the process of selling your property, but it will ensure that you do get there in the end.

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 0808 178 2773.

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