What if? When buying a property with a partner, it makes sense to question your financial stability. It can be scary, especially if it is your first time.
What if? … it happens.
What if you actually fall out?
What happens if either of you die – we appreciate it’s not a nice subject but seriously… It happens.
Don’t worry, you’re not being selfish by asking this question – it’s one we get asked regularly.
It’s a big investment so why shouldn’t you know what you are letting yourself in for?
With the way the property market is today a lot of people are buying properties together so they can share the commitments – which is great if everything works out alright, but what happens if the relationship falls apart and even ends or one of you dies?
First of all, you need to realise that the two of you are essentially entering into a business relationship and whether you like it or not, it should be treated as such.
Please take legal advice and consider a contract be drawn up which protects both of you individually and your interests.
There are two common types of joint ownership that you should consider – ‘beneficial joint tenants’ and ‘tenants in common’.
In a beneficial joint tenants ownership, you both have equal rights to the whole property, if one of you dies then the rights to the property automatically go to the other and you CANNOT pass the ownership of the property to a third party in your will.
Tenants in common allows you to own different shares of the property and the property DOES NOT automatically go to the other in the event of a death. This type of agreement DOES allow you to pass on your share of the property to a third party in your will.
You can change your type of ownership from joint tenants to tenants in common if you divorce or separate and want to leave your share to somebody else. You can also change from tenants in common to joint tenants if you get married and want to have equal rights to the whole property for example.
This is straightforward to do.
However, it is important to remember: You are both responsible to the lender, if you have a mortgage/loan for the debt, and if one person leaves or doesn’t pay, the other is still responsible for the whole debt.
It is up to you and your partner to give each other the peace of mind from the very beginning that no matter what, you both understand your financial obligations and commitments.
If you have any more questions or you are worried about a situation you are in, please don’t hesitate to call one of our property experts in confidence on 01327 878926.
We do have a mediation service here at Campbells.