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  1. #1

    Default Co-ownership nightmare

    Just wondering if anyone else has had issues with shared ownership, and how they dealt with it?

    As the story goes - 1.5 years ago I purchased my first house with my best friend, with a shared-ownership agreement in place ofcourse. We also had to get a joint mortgage, as the banks wouldn't lend to us otherwise

    About 8 months down the line, he starts smoking meth and has a meltdown, both emotionally and, inevitably, financially.
    He stole from me on multiple occasions and accused me of some extremely paranoid stuff, so I felt compelled to move out.
    His wife & child also moved out, so he was living there by himself in a 5 bedroom home...

    I suggested we rent out the extra space, as we had a clause in our agreement which would see us split any rental income 50/50, and this would benefit us both.

    Well hes now renting it out, but I don't know to who, nor have I seen a bond form/tenancy agreement, or any rent money. On top of that, hes been defaulting on the mortgage, which were both jointly liable for.

    My lawyer seems to think I could wait it out, wait for him to make a major mistake and then pounce. But after all the dishonesty and thievery im all out of patience.
    Im sure court cases cost alot of money, but Ive missed out on over $10k worth of rent already and not prepared to let it keep going that way.

    Has anyone else had experience with something similar? How did you solve it?
    Is there any hope enforcing a contract, besides from taking him to court? Seems like a contract means nothing unless its enforced.
    Is there anyway I could force a sale, or force him out of the contract/buy him out without his consent?

    Theres a whole bunch I left out, it just gets infinitely worse...but I guess those are the main points.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Hi AndEasy,

    Welcome to PropertyTalk. You need a better lawyer. The status quo is unacceptable and your 'friend' is already breaking the law.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Crucially, what is written on your property sharing agreement. No, don't put that here. Lawyer up. It may cost up front but is better in the long run. Also, talk to your bank. Keep them informed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004


    Blimey. What a situation. It's been said possession is 9/10ths of the law. Your goal should be to retake possession. Then you'll have better control over things going forward. You will be the one who comes out on top.

    I've assisted friends who have had property adversely effected by occupants using meth. As you know people addicted to this drug can act in very irrational and unpredictable ways. One lot were stealing from their direct neighbors. Not very smart. They also vandalized the place, before they moved out. The situation might have been made worse than it needed to be, as the PM had called the police on them. The key is to get them out, not antagonize them. In the other case, the former occupant took his own life a few months later. I agree with those who say addiction is an illness.

    Did you get to meet your neighbors when you lived there? Might pay to discreetly chat with them. Get a better idea of what's been going on at the property. Are they being effected by this? Maybe the police are already involved.

    But clearly this guy is in violation of his contract with you and the bank, so a lawyer who is familiar with these types of contracts and remedies is your best bet. Getting him to agree to sell might motivate him.

    When you do find a way to get him to shift, I urge being gentle about it. If that's at all possible. Be creative but not vindictive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    ^ Hound has provided reasoned and compassionate advice....kudos

    I on the other hand suggest something a bit more brutal.

    On the proviso your side of the story is accurate.....a spot of recreational drug use is different to being a drug addled loser.

    You need to get him out of the house and you back in.....by fair means or foul.

    1. Move back in...it's your house too.
    2. Pay him to bugger off and never come back....cash or drugs....whichever gets him to agree.
    3. If 2 doesn't work do whatever it takes to convince him that life would be better if he changed his evil ways...….violence solves everything when push comes to shove.

    The guy has already [email protected] you......are you going to let him keep doing it??

    Good luck


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Check to see what your Ins Co. may have to say about this situation, with regard to maybe deliberate, or otherwise, damage caused by a legal owner/occupant.

    My suggestion would be to get him out of the house and you move back in asap.

  7. #7


    Get a better lawyer, enforce your Co-ownership agreement, and get as much information as you can get from the lending bank, and neighbours...!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004


    Can the bank force a mortgagee sale? You’ll lose money but not as much as you could if it carries on. But if he burns it down are you insured?

  9. #9


    Can you afford to buy him out?
    Check with your bank if they would be prepared to loan you 50% of the house valuation.
    Avoid lawyers they will only cost you mega dollars and usually try and create more conflict to keep their cash payments coming in.
    Last edited by mrsaneperson; 12-10-2019 at 11:41 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004


    I bought out a co-owner, and it turned out great though highly stressful at the time. The co-owner decided a laid back lifestyle was more important than working a normal week in a normal job and thus being able to pay the mortgage, the rates etc. Eventually moved overseas and I bought him out at his asking price. This was more than the contract calculation but he wouldn't budge. What he didn't realise was that values had gone up a lot while he wasn't looking. Well he was looking, but looking at the last RV, and couple of months after the buy out went through the new 3 yearly RV came out. Definitely worth the hassle and pain.

    So suggest you consider the buy out option if you can. If nothing else it removes a large monkey from your shoulder. Replaces it with a different monkey but at least you are back in control.


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