How To Sell A House When One Partner Refuses

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Answering how to sell a house when one partner refuses AND what the best methods are for selling in this situation...


Selling a house is never an easy process – you’ll find yourself with a never-ending list of things that need sorting and bills that need paying. It’s made even harder when the partner you’re selling with refuses to sell the property.

Getting put in this situation will have you feeling stuck and desperately googling ‘how to sell a house when one partner refuses’ (maybe that’s how you’ve ended up here!)

But it doesn’t have to be so tricky, does it? Surely there’s an easy(ish) way to get your house sold, when your partner is saying NO!

We’re here to answer these questions for you! We’re also going to give you the best methods for selling your house, even when your partner is refusing.

Well, without further ado let’s get going! Use this menu to help you find an answer ASAP, or just get scrolling:

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How to sell a house when one partner refuses in a marriage

Selling a house in a marriage when one partner is refusing can be a little tricky – no one wants to fall out over what they want to do with their house.

You will need to have a look at the title deeds for the property and whether both names are on the deed or just one. If there’s only one name on the title deeds, then this person has the right to stay in the property, but also can’t force a sale.

The ‘non owner’ (also known as the person not on the title deeds) has the right to continue living at the property alongside any children, even if the property is sold.

In order to get the non-owner removed, you would need to obtain their consent. If the non-owner refuses to give consent and they’re being unreasonable in doing this, then the court will get involved, getting rid of their right to consent.

How to sell a house when one partner refuses in a divorce

Whilst forcing a sale may sound like the ideal answer to how to sell a house when one partner refuses in a divorce, your ex-partner will still have some rights over the shared property, stopping you from forcing a sale, even if you’re the sole owner of the property.

They’re able to protect themselves with a matrimonial home rights notice, meaning you’re unable to sell the property, or increase the house repayments, without notifying them, allowing them to dispute any decision.

If you and an ex-partner are unable to come up with any agreement, you may need to involve a lawyer for extra help in arranging a solution. Whilst the courts will always be an option, it’s recommended to try and solve the situation away from the court, especially where children are involved.

And on that note, that takes us onto...

What to do when children are involved

Whenever children are involved in a divorce, the courts will always take into consideration their welfare and needs as the top priority. Generally, a court will try to keep younger children remaining in the family home to reduce the disruption to them.

If this is the agreement in place, whoever is the primary caregiver of the children will be more likely to be able to remain in the property.

Sometimes a ‘mesher order’ is put in place. This means the house won’t be sold until certain conditions are met. The children will be able to remain in the property, until a certain event occurs, such as until the last child turns 18 or until all the children have finished their time in education.

If you’re wanting to sell the property and it’s in the best interest of the children, then this may be decided the appropriate action by the courts. However, wherever possible, it’s best to be able to come to an agreement outside of the courts, such as selling the property and splitting the proceeds.

Need a mediator to help you organise a sale in divorce?

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How to sell a house when one partner refuses – joint tenants

As joint tenants, you all have equal rights to the property which will no doubt make you wonder how to sell a house when one partner refuses, as no sale can be forced due to everyone in the joint tenancy agreement having equal rights on the property.

In order to be able to force a sale, you would have to sever your joint tenancy and convert to tenants in common. Don’t worry – we know this sounds long and expensive, which is why we’re going to tell you about your other option in joint tenancy, which is buying your partner out…

Buying your partner out:

Unless you’re lucky enough to have lots of cash free, it’s likely you will need to borrow in order to be able to finance buying out a partner. Buying a partner out means you take over their share of the property and house repayments, making it entirely your responsibility to care and pay for the property.

The partner who is being bought out will have their name removed from the title deeds as the equity will be transferred to you. You can either redoing house payments the property or use a product transfer, allowing you to use the same house repayments lender.

Once you have bought your partner out, you can then sell the property without needing to get any further permission, as you now own the property outright. Phew!

How to sell a house when one partner refuses – joint tenants

If your tenants in common partner refuses to sell the property and is refusing or unable to buy you out, you’re able to force a sale. This can be long and expensive but may be the only way forward to be able to get yourself the house sale you’re after.

In order to force a sale you will need to apply to the court for an ‘order of sale’. The potential responses you can get back are:

  • Refuse a sale
  • Refuse a sale but make an order regulating the right to occupy the property
  • Order a sale
  • Order a sale but suspend the order for a short period

The decision you receive will be based on:

  • Yours and your partner’s original intentions for buying the property
  • The welfare of any children who may live with you
  • The interests of any secured creditors (e.g. your house repayments lender) or beneficiaries

In case you’ve just read those last two sections and thought, ‘what is the difference between joint tenants and tenants in common?’ then have a read of this to brush up on your knowledge.

How to sell a house when one partner refuses – the best method

There are two methods which are best when it comes to answering how to sell a house when one partner refuses; either buy your partner out and sell the property when you own it outright or come to an agreement to sell the property together and split the money made from the sale.

If you choose to buy out your partner before selling the property, you will need to ensure you have something lined up to be able to sell the property on quickly.

This is because buying your partner out means you take on full ownership of the property, meaning it’s your sole responsibility to pay the house repayments and the bills, which can get expensive very quickly – making a faster sale a high priority.

If you’re choosing to sell the property and split the funds, then you will also want a quick sale, especially if you’re selling the house due to divorce. Most divorces don’t end amicably, so why would you want to be stuck living or owning a house with your ex-partner for a long period of time? You wouldn’t!

So where do you find a method to guarantee you a fast sale? It’s going to be hard to find, isn’t it?

No, we’re here to help!

Here at The Property Buying Company we will buy your property FAST for CASH! We’re a guaranteed cash buyer with over 50 years combined experience, so we really have dealt with it all!

If you’re selling due to divorce, and one partner isn’t agreeing, we can act as a mediator to help you both come to an agreement in selling the property.

Our average completion time is 2-3 weeks, but we have been known to complete in as little as 7 days, helping you get your property sold and completed ASAP, giving you the ability to move onto your next property.

We also cover all the fees, yes, the legal ones too, allowing you to sell your house for FREE! It also means the cash offer we give you is what you will receive in full – just what you want to hear when you’ve had to spend lots to buy out your partner.

Looking to sell after buying out your partner or ready to sell together and split the funds? Great! Give us a call or fill in our online form for a no-obligation cash offer, which we could have in your banks as soon as next week…

Ready to get your house sold fast?

We're here to help!


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