Joint property ownership

5. Selling when an owner has lost mental capacity

You must apply to the Court of Protection if all of the following apply:

  • you’re one of 2 or more owners of property or land
  • one of the owners has lost ‘mental capacity’
  • you want to sell the property or land

Losing mental capacity means someone can’t make a decision for themselves at the time it needs to be made.

This means that:

  • the owner who’s lost mental capacity can’t sign legally binding documents and needs help to make decisions
  • you’ll have to apply to appoint someone to take the place of the owner who’s lost capacity so the sale can go ahead

Appoint someone to act on behalf of an owner

You’ll have to appoint someone to act on behalf of the owner who’s lost mental capacity even if:

You may not need to apply if you’ve got a registered power of attorney.

Read the guidance on the sale of jointly owned property (COP GN2) to find out if you need to apply.

Get the forms

Download and fill in:

Fees

It costs £400 to apply. You might have to pay an additional £500 if the court decides there needs to be a hearing.

Read the fees guidance to find out when you might not have to pay.

Enquiries

Contact the Court of Protection for help and to find out if you need to fill in other forms.

Court of Protection
courtofprotectionenquiries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 456 4600
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

You can also write to the Court of Protection or visit the public counter.

You can’t get legal advice from court staff.

Send your application

Send the original and one copy of each of the following to the Court of Protection:

  • the application form
  • witness statement
  • a copy of the entries at HM Land Registry if the sale includes any registered land
  • a copy of the conveyance if the property is unregistered
  • any other documents and information asked for

Court of Protection
PO Box 70185
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London
WC1A 9JA

Tell people about your application

The Court of Protection will send you a copy of your application forms, stamped with an issue date, a week after you apply.

You must tell (‘serve’) anyone named in your application (such as the person who’s lost capacity) about applying within 14 days of the issue date.

Read the guidance (COP1) to find out who to tell.

Send them:

You can tell them:

  • by post to their home address
  • by fax
  • in person

Confirm you’ve told people

Within 7 days of serving the documents, you must download and fill in the forms (‘certificates of service’) confirming you’ve told:

Send them all together to the Court of Protection - the address is on the forms.

After you apply

Read the guidance to find out what happens if you have to attend a Court of Protection hearing.

Update the property records after you’ve appointed someone to act for the owner who’s lost mental capacity.

If your application is rejected and you didn’t have a hearing

You can ask for a decision to be reconsidered if your application is rejected and you didn’t have a hearing.

Download and fill in application form COP9.

Send the original, one copy of the form and any documents asked for in the form to the address on the form.

You must apply within 21 days of the decision being made.

It’s free.

If your application is rejected and you had a hearing

You can appeal the decision if your application is rejected and you had an oral hearing.

Download and fill in the appellants notice (COP35).

Send it and any other documents asked for in the form to the address on the form.

You must apply within 21 days of the decision being made or within the time limit set by the judge who rejected your application.

Fees

It costs £400 to apply. You might have to pay an additional £500 if the court decides there needs to be a hearing.

Read the fees guidance to find out when you might not have to pay.

Emergency applications

Contact the Court of Protection to make an emergency application, for example to stop someone who lacks mental capacity being removed from where they live.