TOLATA Applications & Disputes Solicitors

Elliot Hillier

Heald Green, 0161 283 6573
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Aaron Yeganeh
Aaron Yeganeh
I have used the conveyancing services of Anna Beavers at Mounteney Solicitors for several properties, and as have my parents. Anna is super professional and overall a great firm with fantastic customer management skills, and a real sense that Anna and the whole team is working to your best interests as a client. As I say, I am a repeat customer and have recommended the firm to several friends too.
I’ve used this solicitors a few times now for both business and personal matters. The team are really approachable and Anna and Amy have been great! Can’t recommend enough and glad to have had the support through a house move and taking on a commercial lease.
Glenn Colville
Glenn Colville
I had the delight of having Anna work for us and she did a great job. Highly recommended
Judith Clements
Judith Clements
Amanda and Katie were friendly, professional and very thorough in their handling of my sale and purchase of property. Altogether as a team of solicitors I was pleasantly surprised at their patience and availablity.
Having to sell a house after a bereavement is always going to be hard but Katie Reade at Mountney Solicitors made the whole thing effortless. She was always there if I needed anything and was just superb. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending her to anyone needing conveyancing services. Thanks Katie
Joanna Carey
Joanna Carey
Katie recently completed the sale of my great Aunt's flat. Throughout the complicated and protracted sale, Katie kept us informed at every stage. She was considerate and supportive throughout, in fact Katie saved the day on many occasions. I would have not hesitation in recommending Kate and look forward to working with her again.


The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) is a statute giving the court power to make orders regulating property ownership; in situations where relationships break down, the position about property ownership differs between couples in legally recognised married-type relationships and couples whose relationships were never formalised. 

At Mounteney Solicitors, our expert land and title solicitors offer unmatched advice on TOLATA applications and disputes, ensuring you have the legal advice you need when dealing with this often complex process.

Navigating the property landscape requires a deep understanding of the nuances and potential pitfalls of associated transactions; understanding and handling the intricate details involved are critical to safeguarding your property rights, mitigating legal risks and achieving your property ownership objectives.

What is TOLATA?

Couples in lawfully recognised married-type relationships should settle their property affairs by legally dissolving their relationship, for example, through divorce proceedings. Otherwise, if you and your ‘informal’ former partner shared property together but were never actually legally married (so you can’t get legally divorced), it may be that a ‘trust’ arrangement applies to relevant property. English and Welsh law contains the jurisdiction of TOLATA. 

TOLATA grants the Court power to make property decisions in disputes arising from informal partnerships concerning ownership and occupation of property. Therefore, TOLATA may give rights to people not actually named on the title to the property. 

The basic headline position is that the Court has a wide discretion to make whatever order the Court considers to be fair in all the circumstances, especially considering any evidence of:

  • Who paid for what
  • What the agreement or reasonable expectations of the parties were and/or became
  • What’s fair in relation to other relevant circumstances such as dependents (children), employment, prospects, relative wealth, health, age and all other relevant factors

Before litigating, the parties should exhaust all reasonable prospects of negotiating a settlement without going to Court. The chances are that if the Court’s jurisdiction is invoked through litigation, the Court’s decision will be between the extremes proposed by the parties.

If parties cannot settle their dispute out of court, the process for making a TOLATA claim is:

  • Letter Before Claim that sets out your case, ideally with evidence to support it
  • Response
  • Re-consideration of information settlement 
  • Filing for a claim for the Court to decide

How long does a TOLATA case take?

As each case is unique with varying levels of complexity, it is challenging to give a specific timeline for TOLATA claims. 

Whilst cases can be resolved through correspondence or alternative dispute resolution in just months, if a claim goes to trial or a party involved is not keen to progress matters, it could take up to a year or more to resolve the case; this is because claims that go to trial rely on court hearing listings, which themselves depend on how busy the court is.

How much does TOLATA cost?

Mounteney Solicitors’ willingness to act for clients in TOLATA situations will depend on our assessment of your circumstances and prospects, so please enquire if you would like to find out if we will help you with a TOLATA claim. We make no charge for reasonably considering your circumstances to the point of offering or refusing to represent you.

If we do offer to engage, we will likely propose to act on a ‘time-charge’ basis, in which you have to pay us regularly at an agreed rate for the time we reasonably spend on your work. We will give as accurate estimates as possible and a full breakdown of what we were doing for the time we spent. However, these claims are so full of contingencies and possibilities that it will be impossible for us to quote either any fixed fee or to offer the assurance of any ‘cap’ on the legal costs you will have to pay; our estimates may be exceeded, for example.

As well as our costs, you will also have to pay other fees arising from any claim you may bring, potentially including Court fees and other professional charges such as barristers and valuers. A TOLATA claim to go from start to trial could cost at least many thousands of pounds, and possibly tens of thousands of pounds, in legal costs.

When considering your circumstances, we will advise you about funding possibilities, including insurance. We do not offer to fund clients’ claims, including through ‘No win, no fee’ arrangements or credit.

English and Welsh litigation operates on the basic principle of ‘the loser pays,’ which means, if you win, the Court may order your opponent to pay some of the legal costs you have paid. Making such an order does not guarantee that your opponent will pay those costs; you may also need to take further action to try to force them to do so, and they might still not, for example, if they become bankrupt or ‘disappear’; correspondingly, if you lose, you might be ordered to pay your opponent’s costs. The Court might also take the view that there is no clear ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ and make different orders about legal fees, including the possibility of a costs order.

Contact our TOLATA applications and disputes solicitors

Understanding the intricacies of TOLATA applications and their relevant regulations can be overwhelming. Mounteney Solicitors stands as your trust partner, guiding you through each step, clearly explaining the nuances of this field and delivering a personalised service to meet your unique needs.

Contact us today to book a consultation with one of our specialist TOLATA Solicitors in Bramhall, Cheadle or Heald Green. We serve clients throughout Stockport and Manchester, including Altrincham, Hazel Grove, Poynton, Wilmslow and Sale.

Our solicitors in Stockport have years of experience assisting individuals across England and Wales. Trust Mounteney Solicitors with your TOLATA law needs, delivering the transparency, confidence and empathetic service you deserve.