Perils of Joint Ownership - What to think about!

If you have clients buying a home as joint ownership – what advice you can give them?

Bad decisions about joint ownership can have dramatic consequences for the parties involved and it is very important, particularly when unmarried couples buy a property together, that they need to decide at the outset how they will own that property and how both of them will contribute towards it. A failure to take the time to agree these basics before you buy could cause you longer term headaches in the future.

Whilst this may incur some additional legal fees at the outset, it is likely that these will be far less than the costs which could be incurred if you end up arguing about the ownership at a later date or worse still find yourself engaged in costly litigation.

Birkett Long can advise about the various forms of co-ownership and, if necessary, can draw up the appropriate documents to identify both parties’ intentions regarding the ownership of the property, and their responsibilities towards each other. Provided the agreed arrangements are adhered to, when the property is sold, or should the relationship end, both parties will know exactly what to expect.

If circumstances change, then any deed entered into can always be changed by agreement. The worst thing you can do if there are any changes is to ignore them, or wait and do nothing. The longer you wait, the harder it is to remember what the changes were and to agree on what should be done.

Always make sure you keep all documentation relating to your joint ownership of property up to date. It will help a great deal in the long run and lead to fewer arguments or disputes about what was agreed.

Should you have any queries, our property experts at Birkett Long LLP are here to help and guide you and your client.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.