One of you may have agreed to pay a larger share of the deposit or to make higher monthly mortgage repayments than the other.
‘The easiest and safest thing to do to ensure that you are protected is to have a solicitor prepare legally binding documents,’ advises Blacklaws. ‘In a Deed of Trust you can be clear as to how you wish to share a property.’
A Deed of Trust, also known as a Declaration of Trust, is a legally binding agreement which will outline:
- How much you each paid towards the deposit
- What your shares in the property are and how much you'll each contribute towards the mortgage.
It can also detail how you'll buy one another out of the property, and how you split any profit if the property is sold at a later date.
It's generally recommended that you seek qualified legal advice when drawing up your Declaration of Trust, but there are also a number of websites, such as Rocket Lawyer, which provide you with a template for the declaration.
Note: it's essential that the signing of the declaration is independently witnessed, otherwise it won’t be legally binding.
If you buy property together in Scotland, it's important to decide whether to add in a clause called a Survivorship Destination which would mean that if one of you were to die, the surviving partner would automatically inherit the other partner’s share. It’s a good idea to talk to a solicitor about this part, as including this clause imposes limits on your will.