Long lost partner and change of title deeds?

by Readers Question

6 months ago

Long lost partner and change of title deeds?

Make Text Bigger
Long lost partner and change of title deeds?

This is a strange one, which I hope someone might have had dealings with in the past, so here goes.

My wife rents a property at the moment, which she purchased back in the early 90’s with her partner at the time. The partner left her and moved out of the property around 18 months after they first purchased it, and has never been seen since.

The problem is, my wife in all this time never took care of any of the legal side, after her partner left. He is still on the title deed, but she has no idea of where he might be.

She did use a solicitor around 5 years ago, who said he could sort this, but after paying out around £2000, she was no better off.

She has tried to find out where he might be, by contacting some old friends, but after he moved to the states in the mid 90’s, no one has had any further contact.

So moving on, my wife wants to remove him from the title deed, and place me on it. But tracking him down, would most likely be impossible after all this time.

He paid nothing into the property at the time, and never paid any of the mortgage the 18 months he was living there. So understand he has little claim apart from this period.

So can any one put us in the right direction, on how we remove him from the title deed?



The first issue is to determine how the property is held; ie is it a joint tenancy or tenancy in common.
If the former, you may be able to apply to the High Court for a Declaration of Presumed Death, to allow you to take the joint tenancy as a whole.
If the latter he will still own half of the legal estate.

Mark Alexander

6 months ago

Most tracing agents these days provide a “no trace, no fee” type arrangement.

Try one, see how you get on. If he’s not found try another and so on. I think if you can prove no results from several respected trace agencies it would add strength to the “assumed dead” position.

If you do manage to trace him then you can either litigate or negotiate.

Good luck

Gary Arthurs

5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 04/02/2018 - 14:29
Thank you both for your advice, which we are now acting on.

Can i ask Mark, do you know if a trace agency would look outside of UK borders, and would we need to if he cannot be found?

Cheers G

Mark Alexander

5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Arthurs at 19/03/2018 - 12:29
Hi Glen

Sorry, I don’t know.

I suggest you ask a few different ones.

Please let us know how you get on.

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?



Bridging and Development Finance Seminar

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More