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What is an Occupier Consent Form & Why Should I Get Legal Advice Before Signing?

If you are planning to move into a flat or house someone else is in the process of buying, you will probably be asked to sign an occupier’s consent form. You will also be told to get independent legal advice before doing so. The question is, what is an occupier consent form and why do you need to seek legal advice before signing it? Read on to learn everything you need to know...

What is an Occupier Consent Form?

When a person buys a property, the completion of said purchase means they acquire legal ownership of the house or flat they have bought.

In addition to the legal interest they consequently have in the property, they also gain beneficial interests in, or beneficial ownership thereof.

The main difference between legal and beneficial ownership is that a:

· Legal owner is the “formal” or “official” owner of a property and responsible for the maintenance, repairs, etc. thereof.

· Beneficial owner enjoys the benefits (i.e. the right to occupy or receive an income generated by) a property.

More detailed information on exactly what this means can be found at www.edp24.co.uk.

The problem with beneficial interest is that it can be acquired in a diversity of ways, which is a concern for mortgage providers in the event of an adult occupier trying to claim interest in the future.

If another person, such as, for example, a friend, relative, boy/girlfriend moves into the property with the legal owner, they could potentially claim right of occupation or some other beneficial interest in the property even if the legal owner was to default on the mortgage and repossession proceedings became necessary.

To prevent this from happening, lenders will therefore ask individuals they know to be moving in with a buyer to waive or postpone their right to occupation/other beneficial rights by signing an occupier’s consent form.

Occupier's Consent Form Legal Advice

As people signing such a form are essentially giving up their right to occupy a property, lenders tell them to seek legal advice to ensure that:

· They fully understand the implications of signing this document, and that

· They cannot allege at a future date that their signature on the occupier consent form was given unwittingly, under pressure or by duress.

If an individual required to seek legal advice and/or sign the form fails to do so, relevant lenders may subsequently refuse to proceed with the mortgage/loan necessary to purchase the property.

Getting Legal Advice

It should be noted that the above is merely a brief introduction to the topic of occupier consent and should therefore not be considered hard-and-fast, reliable legal advice. The process and implications of signing an occupier’s consent form are somewhat more complex and far-reaching than can be described here – making it imperative to get in touch with a solicitor to have all the ins-and-outs explained in detail before doing so.

Dedicated to providing quality legal services within a professional, yet approachable environment, we here at Rose & Rose have a team of solicitors with years of experience in providing independent legal advice concerning occupier consent, so if you were asked to sign such a form, give us a call today.