• Rose and Rose Solicitors

Moving in with your partner? Take advice first

Entering into informal property transactions without the benefit of legal advice is a recipe for disaster, as a young man found out when his relationship with his girlfriend ended acrimoniously and she insisted that he had no interest in the house that they had shared.

The man had agreed to the property being held in his girlfriend's sole name because he had a poor credit history and was concerned that he would be rejected by the mortgage provider. After they split up, he applied to the Land Registry to register his beneficial interest in the property, but that was resisted by his ex-girlfriend.

It took court proceedings to establish that he did have a legal interest in the property. In upholding his claim to a stake in the property, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) noted that he had paid for a new boiler and double glazing. He had, through his father, also paid half of the £20,000 deposit on the purchase price.

In those circumstances, the FTT was satisfied that there had been a common intention that he should have an interest in the property. The extent of that interest has yet to be assessed.

If you are buying a property with someone else and it is to be held in their name for whatever purpose, you can take steps to make sure that any agreement you have made regarding the equitable ownership of the property is enforceable without the need for an expensive court hearing. Contact us for advice.