Hi All. I'm looking for advice on anyones experience on pursuing occupancy rent. I'm 9 years separated (never married) from my ex with whom we have 3 kids. We have a mortgage together on the family home in which they have always lived. I have always honoured my mortgage and maintenance payments and for many years paid her more than was due. She has constantly excluded me from family decisions all this time and refuses to acknowledge our informal child care arrangements to the CMS which has recently forced Collect and Pay onto me contrary to the evidence. I've always been seen as a wallet rather than a Father. I wouldn't be contemplating chasing her for Occupancy rent if it weren't for the fact that her boyfriend has been living in the family home for the past 4 years. He owns a property which he lets out and pays rent and upkeep to my ex. I don't know if she declares this income. I receive no benefit from this man who I am part funding to keep a roof over his head.
I've had legal advice saying I can claim 'occupancy rent'. My current solicitor says I cannot charge the boyfriend rent but suggests 'telling' her she must pay all the mortgage for exclusive use of the family home from which I am excluded. Easier said than done.....I fear an expensive legal journey to an uncertain end.
Has anyone any experience of this situation? I look forward to any advice. Thanks.
I don't have experience of this, are you able to seek legal advice about settling this like a house sale or splitting equity from it?
with CMS and collect and pay, I read they have a rule that after being on collect and pay for 6 months, if there's been no payment issues, you can ask to go back to direct pay.
My circumstances are the same. However in my case I'm still married (separated) the mortgage is in arrears. My solicitor advised no chance of successfully applying for occupancy rent as my 3 kids still live in the property and my ex cares for them.
You ex would be able to explain and offset any costs she incurs to look after the kids and property (upkeep, maintaience, cleaning etc) against the rent anyway. Lots of things are difficult to quantify and a judge would just say zero value rent due. Often even if awarded the person residing is unable to afford it anyway.
Your option really is to force a sale or ensure your ex pays the mortgage. If you go down route of her paying she could just choose not to thus impacting your credit score with it being a joint mortgage. Therefore a sale is best option even if it means she has to buy you out if she is able to do so.
All the best.
What is the reason you have been forced onto collect and pay? Did you dispute amount and not pay it? It would be best to go to court and formalise the agreement as otherwise you are paying an increased amount in CMS. Yes once on collect and pay for 6 months with no issues you can request a review.
It sounds like you have left things re children, CMS and the property quite informally and some of the issues of doing this are now causing you problems and potentially it is time to look at using the legal routes to nail down the right outcomes for you and the kids.
@Bill337 Thanks. Apparently CMS told me I can be taken off it as I've proof of consistent payment. Because they took my ex's word
for the amount of childcare I have, subsequently my calculation of maintenance was short. Over 2-3 months this discrepancy built up
as I contested it and they forced me onto Collect and Pay.....£58/month fee to do what I have always done. I'd have to take her to court to
prove childcare arrangements that don't match what she tells the CMS. Simply not worth the cost. All I can do is hope CMS honour their word and take me off Collect and Pay (in less than 6 months!).
@Daddyup You're correct about my informality causing problems. My ex. wont confirm our childcare days. Solicitors letter sent to ask her to confirm our informal arrangement but no reply (not any in 8 years ). No engagement with me. Thousands in costs to take her to court to prove otherwise doesn't add up. I've got to go with her version and pay what they say.
Re. Equity in the house, I'm not in a position to buy her out and I'm happy with my obligation to keep paying my share for the family home whilst the children are under 18. Once their all deemed to be independent (4 years time), I'll be pushing to take my equity out of the home. She's about to be legally informed of this.
there's no need to spend loads on a solicitor if you want to apply to court for child arrangements. you can self-represent.
Hi, as Bill says, you can self represent..
You may not succeed in proving what the past contact has looked like but you can certainly secure a court order for contact going forward and provide this to the CMS..