Joint Mortgage -Ex Partner - What should I do?


New Member
For background, I’m 35, my current partner is 28. Earning 105k and 25-30K respectively. Saving 3500 - 4000 per month, approx. 35K in savings. House currently valued around 280,000. 190,000 owed on a 100% 290,000 tracker mortgage taken out in 2006. No other borrowings.

So, I took out the mortgage in 2006 with my ex-partner who did a moonlight flit and left me to pay the mortgage. I lived in the house until 2009 and then rented it out. I tried to sell it on a few occasions but was hugely into negative equity. At the time, my salary was also very low and I wasn’t able to take on the mortgage on my own, additionally, I had no idea where my ex was to contact him.

I moved back in for a year in 2012 and then moved back into it again last year after two years of travelling. The mortgage is only €760 per month which means we both can save a lot more than if we were renting. Additionally my partner has gone into a new field workwise which means he’s on a lower salary at the moment so that fact that the mortgage is so low is a huge bonus for him as well financially.

My ex is now back on the scene in the last few months. I am owed about €15k from him for insurance, maintenance fees repairs, etc. and the money that I had to put towards the mortgage when the rental income did not cover it.

I have not met him yet but anecdotally I have heard that he is making noises about profit on rent being owed to him. This is the kind of mindset he has. There was only 1 year where the rent was in excess of the mortgage and I kept this profit for myself to pay down some of what he owed me (tax was also paid on the income obviously). I have also heard that he might want to buy me out. To be honest I don’t think I want this to happen:

a) He has put nothing into the house since 2008; I feel like he’d be reaping the rewards of me maintaining the house for so long without ever having done anything.
b) House is on a very good tracker mortgage which again I’d be a bit sick at him getting;
c) Even though I would get a lump sum if he bought me out I’m not sure that I want to buy again for a while which would leave us renting and probably paying huge rent thereby not allowing us to save at the rate we are currently saving. The fact that we currently only pay €760 is a huge benefit to us.

Other options as I see it are:
1) Buy my ex out of the house, increase the monthly repayments and pay the mortgage down as fast as possible and then sell.

2) Sell now. However, it it’s the same situation, not really sure if I want to just yet as if we stay another while we can save more.

I’m almost afraid to contact my ex now as if I start the ball rolling and he doesn’t want to be bought out then I’ll either have to let him buy me out or sell.

I can’t really see the wood for the trees on this to be honest. I wake up at night stressing over the situation and I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be tied to my ex anymore. I would really only want to live in the house for another 2 years or so max anyway. I just want to save as much deposit as possible and buy elsewhere. I have no idea what scenario is best for me or if buying him out is stupid?

I also don’t want to have to deal with him personally as he’s a horrible person so I’m also looking at solicitor’s fees on top of this to sort it out.

Really really appreciate all advice on this.


Frequent Poster
This is a very common scenario.

Right now, you're in limbo BUT, the big pro is that you're living in a property very cheaply.

There are a range of outcomes that might occur if you/he attempt to resolve matters and much will depend on the ex's mindset.

On a simple maths calculation, there is c.90K in equity in the property- he could look for half of that - either by you buying him out or selling up.

A big factor will be whether you/you and your partner can take over the mortgage and keep the tracker rate. If you can't do that/ the bank won't allow it, you'll have to work out what your repayments would be on a standard mortgage.

If you/your solicitor are negotiating with your ex, you would argue that you are the one who has kept the property afloat and that that should be factored in, in any settlement/sale/buy out. He could argue that he has had to pay rent elsewhere, if that is the case, and that also should be factored in.

Either of you could bring an application to Court:

I haven't heard of any Orders being made under this section yet- someone else on AAM may have.

Taking action has the effect of bringing matters to a conclusion and I'm a great believer in gettings things sorted- sooner rather than later.

A contrary view is that you've very little to lose by staying put, building up your savings and waiting for the ex to put something in motion.

But that leaves you with uncertainty and continuing anxiety.

None of us ever know what will happen in the future but you actually don't have to make any decisions just yet.............


Jim Stafford

Frequent Poster
As mf1 suggests, either of you could make an application to court under Section 31. I have acted as plaintiff (in my capacity as Receiver) in a Section 31 case and also as an Expert witness in a Section 31 case. Like 90%+ of court cases, they usually settle, so there are few recorded judgments. Section 31 "does what it says on the tin" = an equitable split of the equity.

The big issue here is attempting to keep your tracker rate. The bank would be very slow to take your Ex off the mortgage, as he is effectively providing additional security for the mortgage.

Obviously, before taking any Section 31 action you should try and directly negotiate an agreement. If you are unable to reach agreement, then you might have to issue Section 31 proceedings. Paradoxically, one of the "strengths" of the Irish legal system is how expensive it is: The prospect of having costs awarded against a party encourages a settlement.

You also need to watch out for stamp duty issues on any "sale of interests" to each other given that you are not married.

Jim Stafford
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