If you own a house with your partner but are unmarried in the UK, it’s important to protect your interests and ensure that you have legal rights to the property. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Get a cohabitation agreement: A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that sets out how you and your partner will manage your joint assets, including the house. It can outline who owns what percentage of the property, how bills and expenses will be divided, and what will happen if you separate. Having this agreement in place can help to prevent disputes and ensure that you are both protected.
  2. Register your ownership: If the property is registered with the Land Registry, make sure that both you and your partner are listed as owners. You can choose to hold the property as either joint tenants or tenants in common. As joint tenants, you both own the property equally and if one of you dies, the other automatically inherits their share. As tenants in common, you each own a specific share of the property and can pass it on to whoever you choose in your will.
  3. Consider taking out a mortgage jointly: If you are both contributing to the mortgage, it’s a good idea to have both of your names on the mortgage agreement. This will ensure that you both have a legal right to the property and will be responsible for the mortgage payments.
  4. Keep records of your financial contributions: If one of you is contributing more to the mortgage or other household expenses, keep detailed records of this. This can help to prove your financial stake in the property if there is a dispute later on.
  5. Seek legal advice: If you are unsure about your legal rights and how to protect them, it’s a good idea to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specializes in property law. They can help you to understand your options and draft a cohabitation agreement that meets your needs.i

If you would like to discuss any of the above, please telephone Georgina Hardman in our wills department on 0161 850 9911 to discuss further.