Selling Your House When Your Partner Has Been Sectioned

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

When a person loses their mental capacity, it means that they’re unable to make key decisions for themselves. They shouldn’t sign legally binding documents and will need help making decisions.

This is defined as:

  • The owners cannot sign legally binding documents as they have lost mental capacity & need help to make decisions
  • If this has happened, you will need to apply for someone to be appointed to take the owners place to ensure that any sale can go ahead

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If you decide to sell a property that you own with your partner, and they are unable to make decisions for themselves, then you’ll need to appoint a representative to act on their behalf so the sale can go ahead. You must then apply to the Court of Protection to state your case and make it legal. It is important to update the property records to state that this representative will be acting on behalf of the original named joint owner.

How to be appointed to act on behalf of an owner

You might not have to apply if you already have a power of attourney, however if you do there is a cost of £385 to apply to the Court of Protection and additional fees may be added if there needs to be an appeal at a later date. In order to apply to the Court of Protection, and gain the right to sell you and your partner’s property, you will need to complete the following documents:

  • Application form
  • Witness statement
  • Copy of HM Land Registry document entry
  • Copy of conveyancing report if the property is unregistered


Within 14 days of making the application, you must inform the person named in the document i.e. your partner who has lost capacity. This may seem futile, but is a necessary part of the process and you cannot proceed without issuing a notice or an acknowledgement form to them. These are officially known as a COP15 and a COP5 documents respectively.

You must then tell the Court of Protection that you have issued this document within 7 days of doing so.

Then you wait until a decision has been reached before going ahead with the sale of the property. If your appeal is rejected, you are entitled to dispute this and must do so within 21 days of the court’s decision.

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Can I buy them out of the house?

If your application is accepted and you are appointed to act on behalf of the owner you are able to do what you please with the property, including buying them out of their share of the house if you wanted to do so.

If someone else is acting on behalf of your partner then you will need to discuss the matter of buying their share of the property with them.

You should also speak to your lender during this process, as rather than buying them out you might also be able to move the mortgage to simply being in your name, as opposed to both.

What is the Court of Protection when selling a house?

The court of protection is a body that make decisions based on the welfare or financial matter of people who are unable to make a decision at that point in time, due to lacking the mental capacity.

They are responsible for a list of things, including:

  • They have to decide whether the person in question has the mental capacity to make their own decisions
  • In charge of choosing who they appoint to make decisions for the person if they lack the mental capacity
  • Look at emergency applications for decisions on acting on behalf of someone
  • They consider applications for people to make statutory wills or gifts on behalf of the person
  • They are responsible for deciding whether someone can be deprived of their liberty which falls under the Mental Capacity Act

The court is based in London and the cases are heard by sensior and district judges - although it can sometimes be High Court judges.

Need to sell the property quickly?

If you decide to sell your property quickly for a fair cash sum then The Property Buying Company can help. We understand that selling your house can be a stressful process and that your circumstances might make you feel even more daunted. Our team of experts are experienced at selling properties quickly for as we are cash buyers and are supportive at every stage of the process. We buy any property, in any location and in any condition. All legal fees are included and we pride ourselves on taking the hassle out of the sale on your behalf.

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