Ex-lovers battle over property ownership
He once wooed her when they were colleagues at an architect's firm in 1996, but she said that she was not interested in a "transient relationship".
He continued to court her, and even bonded with her family members and attended many of her family's functions during their decade-long relationship.
To show his sincerity, he bought a condo unit at Bayshore Road's Costa Del Sol, a private condominium estate in East Coast in December 2006. He also set up his own design services company, AVI Professional, where both were directors and shareholders. They lived in their flat and worked together on the business there.
But in December 2009, Mr Ho Chee Chye walked out on his partner, Ms Low Yin Yin, who is seven years his senior. He sent a text message which said: "Just want to have a space of my own to sort my life."
The breakdown of their relationship led to a court tussle over the ownership of the condo unit which was bought with Mr Ho's cash but registered in Ms Low's name.
According to The Straits Times, Mr Ho now wants the High Court to order the 27th floor flat, valued at about $1.05million, be sold and the excess money returned to him after the outstanding mortgage is settled.
But Ms Low has refused to move out, saying that the property was a gift to her. She also claimed that she had contributed more than $210,000 towards buying, renovating and settling mortgage payments.
Mr Ho said he continued paying the mortgage until February last year on the understanding she would sell the property and redeem the mortgage with the proceeds. But Ms Low refinanced and paid the monthly $4,500 mortgage payments and has refused to sell the unit.
Lawyers say cohabitation is not recognised as a basis for dividing a property between the two based on their contributions. Instead, the pair has to seek a court ruling that the property is being held in trust by one party for the other, if it was a gift from one party to the other. The court will then decide how to deal with the property after looking at all the relevant evidence.
The court will then decide how to deal with the property after weighing all the relevant evidence.
n. 1. (Mach.) The rounded or pointed top of a grinding mill spindle, forming a pivot on which the stone is balanced.