5 Really Simple Tips For Buying a New Home With Your Partner
Snuggled up on the sofa and watching telly with your partner in your new home is like a fairytale come true.
And just so you know, we hate to be the dark cloud in the form of Mr Evil Conveyancer hanging over your happiness.
There are a few legal issues to consider when you move in together – but it’s all in your best interests. You definitely won’t want a conveyancing nightmare on your hands (if the time ever comes).
We promise that there are only 5 simple steps you need to follow to ensure that this nightmare doesn’t happen to you.
Put the deeds of your property into joint names.
If the house is not in your name, then things can get tricky when sharing the profits on sale, especially when you have contributed to the deposit or mortgage payments, or another form of financial commitment, such as paying for any major work on the house.
If you put the deeds of your property in joint names from the beginning, it reduces the potential crisis of the named owner asking you to leave the property.
Joint Tenancy or Predetermined share?
You need to decide whether you would like equal rights (joint tenants), or a predetermined share (tenants in common), such as 70/30, 60/40.
If you decide to be ‘joint tenants’, you may still receive a sum of the property when you sell, and regardless of whether or not it is written in a Will, you will inherit the property if your other half passes away.
However, if you go for the ‘tenants in common’ option, you are only entitled to your specific share in the property, and no more. Your solicitor can draw up a ‘deed of trust’ in order to formally agree how much of the property each person owns. If you would like your share to go to your partner when you die, then this must be stated in your Will.
- So you sell the house…what happens to the money?
If you have agreed on an unequal share rather than having your capital returned on the sale or transfer, you can have your contribution expressed as a percentage in a document known as a Declaration of Trust.
So if you break up, this settlement will save you a lot of money, time and hassle.
- Work out your ongoing running expenses for your property.
A “Cohabitation Agreement” is not uncommon amongst an unequal share. Each person agrees what they expect from the other and discuss what will happen if they separate or die.
These are simply ‘honourable agreements’, so not all clauses may be enforced by the court.
Regardless, the Deed protects both partners, as both will benefit from full disclosure of finances at the beginning, which should hopefully limit disagreements later on. The Deed can always be renewed, reviewed or ripped at a later date.
It’s generally advised that you and your partner take separate legal advice before signing this agreement.
- A WILL will protect you.
This is essential advice, especially if you have decided to hold the property as Tenants in Common.
There is no guarantee that your partner will obtain the property on the event of your death. You must be prepared for the worst case scenario: not meeting an agreement with the deceased partner’s executors and being forced to sell the property, only receiving your original share.
Look for Conveyancers who are willing to give you a fixed price for any additional Deeds or Documents and will also provide a fixed fee guarantee with no hidden costs.
If you are buying a new home now and are unsure of the conveyancing process, then why not watch our slideshare: ‘Shiver Me Timbers! Whatever Will My Conveyancer Do Next?’