Buying a Property Jointly

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By Chris Pease, Joint Senior Partner, Head of the Private Team and Head of Residential Property

With house prices at the level they are, buying a property on your own can be virtually impossible.Therefore more and more people are deciding to buy a property as a couple or with friends and family joining in.

What are the pitfalls to look out for?

If an unmarried couple buy a property (the rules for married couples are essentially different) you need to give some thought to protecting your investment, particularly if both of you are contributing unequal amounts to the purchase price.You should consider whether you need to protect your investment just in case things do not work out as planned.Stop and think – do you want to be able to get your money back if you split up?

What happens if, as a couple, you go your separate ways and one of you wants to stay in the property but the other wants to sell his or her share in it?

In the worst of all cases, if one of you dies, what happens to that person’s share in the property?Who inherits it?

Without going into too much technical detail when more than one person buys a property there are different ways in which it can be owned known as “Joint Tenants” or “Tenants in Common”.If you decide to be Tenants in Common then the issues I have raised can be dealt with by a “Declaration of Trust” in addition to which you will probably both need to have a Will prepared.

These are all points you should discuss with your solicitor.

If you are planning to buy a property with somebody else, Chris Pease, Joint Senior Partner and Head of Residential Property, will be able to answer your questions and offer advice and solutions.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.