Couples wishing to buy a house together risk losing their investment if they don’t take legal advice first.
The Law Society has warned that co-habiters or friends buying together have no protection on their initial investment when it comes to selling up and are not protected by law in the same way that married couples or civil partners are.
Buyers are being urged to seek advice from a solicitor who can draw up a ‘declaration of trust’ as without it, a person has the right to half a property but no more.
This factor can be drawn up as part of the usual conveyancing process.
Law Society president Nicholas Fluck said the fluctuating property market means more people have to double up in order to afford a home, which is where problems often arise.
“As banks demand bigger deposits and house prices rise, the money at stake is considerable,” he said.
“Buying a home is a huge, expensive step, and of course it’s exciting, but before signing anything, make sure your deposit is ring fenced.”
So if you are investing a considerable amount more than your buying partner, protecting your money is a wise move.
“No-one can predict the future, but if you need to sell the house for any reason and move on, it’s better to come away with your fair share and avoid a messy legal dispute,” added Nicholas.