Making a TOLATA Claim

Seeking a Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act claim (TOLATA) can feel daunting. Understanding the process and documents needed for these claims is crucial for ensuring fair outcomes and protecting your stake in jointly-held assets.

A TOLATA claim is a claim under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 when you ask the Court to make a decision about a jointly owned property.

A claim can happen for different reasons – either to decide what shares in a property are owned by each person or to order a sale of the property or prevent the sale of a property.

This means that anything that can be done by joint owners of the property can be ordered by the Court when deciding a Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act claim – usually called a TOLATA claim.

With extensive experience in TOLATA claims, we work to resolve co-owner disputes swiftly, safeguarding your property interests and minimising legal costs. Whether determining ownership shares or facilitating property sales, our priority is to protect your property rights and achieve a solution for you.

Our experienced team are here to guide you every step of the way. If you are ready to begin the claim process, please get in touch via phone, email or make an enquiry. If you are still unsure about the process, continue reading this page, or check out our “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

What is the TOLATA Claims Procedure? The Step-by-Step Process

The process of making a TOLATA Claim does not have to be difficult or stressful. We have outlined each of the steps that may be needed.

The first step is for you to tell us about the problem and what you see as the best solution.

Next, we will gather all the information together that we need, such as

  • HM Land Registry information,
  • Details of the owners
  • All about the property including when it was purchased, the price, the current value of the property, whether there is a mortgage on it, how the property has been used and how the bills have been paid
  • The original conveyancing file from when the property was purchased if it is available

We can then review everything and give you bespoke advice about your case, the options you have, the chances of success and the likely costs. You can then decide whether you wish to proceed to the next step.

Once you have decided you want to proceed with your claim, we would usually send a letter of claim. This sets out your position and what solution you want.

Often an outcome can be agreed with the other side at this stage, either informally or through mediation. If that is not possible, we will talk to you about whether you want us to issue Court proceedings.

If proceedings are issued, under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 7 or Part 8, then we and your opponent must follow the rules and timescale laid down to file evidence. If your claim is contested, then we must file witness statements and prepare the papers for the Court to see at the trial. The court process is very detailed and with various time limits. We will work to make sure you understand the process, including the costs and timescales.

The Biggest Client Concerns

One major concern is that you, the client, do not fully understand the process and the risks and likely costs. Before issuing proceedings, we will make sure you fully understand how the case is likely to go and what could go wrong and how long it might take. That helps you to have all the information you need before making any important decisions. We are experienced in these cases and can help explain all that you need to know.

Another concern is making sure any mediation or Court decision is properly implemented. We can deal with enforcing any Court order and the sale of a property.

Why Choose Us?

Our litigation team specialises in navigating complex property ownership disputes with a track record of success. A majority of our TOLATA cases involve co-owners of a property or ex-partners or unmarried couples who wish to determine what percentage of the property they own, whether that has changed since purchase, and whether they will need a court order for the property to be sold (if the co-owner/s disagree).

We have also dealt with cases requiring a property to be sold and cases to prevent the sale of a property.

Our approach differs from other firms because we emphasise settlement and mediation early in the process. If agreement can be reached without going to Court the process is much quicker and cheaper. If agreement cannot be reached then we can take the matter to Court so that a Judge can decide. We deal with these cases regularly and are familiar with how they work.

We provide a quality service. We will work with you on achieving a settlement, keep you updated and make sure you can easily speak to the person dealing with your case. We understand that no-one enjoys being in a dispute and we will work to relieve as much stress from the process as possible.

Your Next Step

Navigating TOLATA disputes requires expertise and strategic planning but you do not have to feel alone. Our solicitors have extensive experience and are ready to guide clients through the complexities of co-owner disputes. If you’re ready to start the process, or you have questions about what to do next or what documents to bring, then contact us today by calling our phone on 01273 604 123, emailing us at or make an enquiry. We are ready to take on your case.

About Burt Brill & Cardens

Trusted Sussex solicitors for over 130 years

Our team includes specialists in a number of legal areas, providing you with the expertise you need when you need it most. Whatever your legal issue, we will take the time to understand your situation and tailor our service to meet your needs.


Get in touch

Speak to one of our solicitors today. We would love to hear from you and discuss any legal issues you may have and how we can assist you.

Find Us

30 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1FL