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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    2,812

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    If you still live there you can take your stuff. You can't legally go onto property that you don't own and get stuff.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,218

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    If you still live there you can take your stuff. You can't legally go onto property that you don't own and get stuff.
    But its important to note that he cannot take something that has been permanently attached to the structure. He cannot take down wired in lighting or kitchen cabinets, or a shower liner, or carpeting (other than rugs), hardwood floors or anything else that has become part of the property.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,795

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    Quote Quoting Fastman1
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    My question involves law for the State of: Michigan
    I have lived with my girlfriend for 3 years. We bought the house together. Her name is the only one on it. She wants to end the relationship. I have put a lot of time and money in to home improvements into this house and have paid half the mortgage the whole time. Do I have recourse for the money I have invested into this home
    We seem to have omitted our usual question for this kind of situation.

    What did your girlfriend say when you asked her for that money back?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    No! Itís her house

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,201

    Default Re: Recourse for Home Improvements

    Quote Quoting Fastman1
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    I had subpar credit at the time and could not get financing. She could so she financed the house. I have paid for half of everything done to remodel the house. All the documents to prove that I did. I understand that half the mortgage would be payment for living there. I only want what I put into the house. I did ALL the work myself.
    Did you put cash in for the down payment? What was the understanding between the two of you at the time the house was purchased? Did you have plans to marry, was the property for investment with a plan to flip it at some point?

    I ask because who financed the house has very little to do with who is on the deed unless the lender has something to say about. Why was the house only in her name?

  6. #16

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    WARNING!

    Please DO NOT make any demands upon the woman or pursue efforts to recover compensation for labor and material furnished until you have consulted with a knowledgeable attorney and fully explored the prospects of obtaining the imposition of a "constructive trust"!!!!

    A trustis a legal structure whereby the legal title to property is held by one for the benefit of another. Essentially a constructive trust is one imposed by a court of law as a remedy for unjust enrichment.

    Here you write that although hers is the sole name on the deed that the house was "bought together'', plus you have made improvements, lived there together for three years, etc. , etc. All of which might be grounds to obtain a finding by a court of law that she is holding an undivided one-half interest in the house in trust for your benefit and ordering her to convey over to you that one-half interest subject to existing liens and encumbrances.

    Why my warning? Because the act of your claiming that she is indebted to you for improving "her house" would be to disavow that it is "hers and your house"!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,844

    Default Re: Can You Recover Money for Improvements You Made to Your Partner's House

    Quote Quoting Fastman1
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    I have lived with my girlfriend for 3 years. We bought the house together. Her name is the only one on it. She wants to end the relationship. I have put a lot of time and money in to home improvements into this house and have paid half the mortgage the whole time. Do I have recourse for the money I have invested into this home
    So far you have not alleged any agreement in relation to the work you performed on the home. You have not indicated that you were the beneficiary of a promise to be added to the deed, or that you were promised any form of compensation for your time or any materials that you purchased. As such, from what you have stated, to the extent that your contributions were not implicitly made as part of your contribution to household expenses, your contributions appear to be in the form of a gift.
    Quote Quoting Fastman1
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    I had subpar credit at the time and could not get financing. She could so she financed the house.
    You don't have to be on the mortgage in order to be on the title. You could have been on the title as a co-owner, but with a mortgage that was exclusively in the name of your ex-. For your ex- to get a mortgage where you were not a borrower but were on the title, the bank would have required that you sign a document agreeing not to object to foreclosure in the event that your ex- failed to make her payments.
    Quote Quoting Fastman1
    I understand that half the mortgage would be payment for living there.
    That statement suggests two things: First, that you did not have an agreement as to how your contributions (the mortgage and any contribution to home improvements) would be treated; and second, that you understood that your payments and contributions would not give you any claim of ownership in the home.
    Quote Quoting latigo
    View Post
    ...and fully explored the prospects of obtaining the imposition of a "constructive trust"!
    For a constructive trust to be granted, there would have to be evidence both of an actual agreement between the parties and of its violation by the defendant. It's not enough to claim, "I thought I would eventually be added to the deed," or, "I thought I would eventually be paid back." It is not correct to suggest that rattling off a list of expenditures might be enough to convince a court to grant a constructive trust, because a "constructive trust" is an equitable remedy and not a cause of action. You must prove wrongful conduct by the defendant, sufficient to justify the award of the constructive trust.

    The case of Horak v. Goodwin reflects just how difficult it is to obtain relief from the courts on the basis of this type of claim. While the Court of Appeals was split on the question of whether to allow a contract-based case to proceed, it sided two-to-one against such an action and the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed; only one justice of the Supreme Court would have allowed the case to proceed. That case also reflects the hazard that you have already pointed out, a concession that it's "her house" undermines a later claim that it's "ours".

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