If you are buying a property with others, you may wish for your respective financial contributions to be protected. It is important that such shares are clearly agreed in writing between all parties and the necessary protection for each person is registered on the legal title to the property.

Up to four people can jointly be registered as legal co-owners of a property, with other individuals able to have an interest in a property which is often in the form of a financial contribution or share.

Fosters can ensure that you are all adequately protected, recommending that you have a Declaration of Trust in place, and that your future wishes concerning your interest in the property are clearly stated in your will.

How we can help

When you are purchasing a property with others we will discuss with you your ownership options and what is in your best interests.

In addition to being registered as a legal co-owner, you will be asked if you wish to be joint tenants or tenants in common – both ownership options provide that you will need the consent of the other owner(s) to sell or take a loan out against the property, unless a court order rules otherwise.

However, there are significant differences that can result in legal implications for any future sale or relationship breakdown.

Under joint tenancy, all ownership is treated as equal and in the event of an owner passing away, their share of the property will pass automatically to the remaining owner(s).

Tenancy in common allows for defined shares to be registered. The default ownership ratio is 50:50, but the property can be shared to reflect the number of owners (up to four) and whatever proportion they have contributed or invested. In this situation, if someone dies, their share is distributed as set out in their will and does not automatically pass to the other owner(s).

We work with our clients to decide on the best course of action for them and their circumstances.

Secure your wishes

Our Wills, Trusts & Probate team are specialists in helping you put into place future plans for you and your family. When you purchase or invest into a property, we would always advise that this interest is reflected in your will as soon as possible, making sure your investment is protected and your wishes concerning inheritance known.

Declarations of Trust

A Declaration of Trust is usually used when two or more people purchase a property together, but they or a third party have provided different sums towards the purchase price, and wish to safeguard their investment in the event that the property is sold.

A Declaration of Trust is recommended when:

  • A property is purchased by two or more people who want to agree now how future sale proceeds are to be divided;
  • A property is held in the sole name of one person but someone else has contributed towards the purchase price;
  • A property is held by one person in their sole name but it has been purchased for two people to live in as their joint property and both contribute towards the mortgage;
  • A former matrimonial home, which was originally purchased by a couple in joint names, but following divorce one spouse is to be solely responsible for payment of the mortgage until it is sold;
  • A property is in the sole name of one party but the other contributes towards its improvement or enlargement;
  • The property is being purchased on trust for another.
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