What is a TOLATA claim and how would it help me?

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What is a TOLATA claim and how would it help me?

Unfortunately, unmarried cohabiting couples who separate do not have the same rights as married couples or those in a civil partnership. Therefore, if you have lived in a property with your partner but you are now separating you may have worries about where you (and your children) are going to live. However, you may be able to make a TOLATA claim. 

TOLATA stands for the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (1996) which gives the court the power to make decisions where there is a dispute about property between unmarried couples. Sometimes it allows you to make a claim even if your name is not on the deeds to the property. The court can make decisions on the ownership of a property and who can remain in the property.

 Sole Ownership

If the property is owned solely by one partner and not the other, disputes may arise and may be a significant cause of tension. The courts may look at whether the non-owner partner put money towards the purchase price of the property or paid for any property improvements. If this was the case, then the non-owner partner may be able to make a claim under the TOLATA legislation.

Couples with Children

For separating unmarried couples with children, a parent can make a financial claim under the Children Act (1989).  The court can order one parent to make financial contributions to provide a home for the couple’s children.

Making a Claim

This is a complex area of law and seeking early legal advice is important for you to prove your legal rights regarding a financial interest in the property, especially if you are not a named owner. Our family lawyers have a wealth of experience in this field both in making and defending TOLATA claims, and they will help you see whether you would have a valid claim and to guide you through the process. It is important to see your solicitor as soon as possible to start negotiations to reach a settlement.

Contact us today to speak to one of our experts, Philip Kentish, Joseph Hendron,  Debra Carroll and Acton Afonso on 01492 874774 or 596596.


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