Goldsmith Williams calls for broker support
The call follows a joint practice note recently published by the Law Society and the Land Registry regarding joint property ownership.
The note comes at a time when property disputes between unmarried cohabitees are an increasing risk.
First-time buyers increasing reliance on ‘the bank of mum and dad’ and an increase in the number of younger homeowners choosing to purchase property with friends and partners presents a complex picture.
Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said: “This joint practice note all highlight the importance of joint property owners properly defining and documenting their respective interests in their property.
“Tenants in Common can have an equal or unequal share in the property and can leave their share to whomsoever they choose either during their lifetime or under their will.
“Many clients, particularly young people, aren’t aware of this distinction and when they are purchasing property they don’t give much thought to what might happen to their property if they were to break up.”
To combat this issue the Land Registry has now developed Form JO to help conveyancers arrange for joint purchasers to make a declaration of trust.
Golsdsmith said: “The Declaration of Trust records important rights and obligations and with this in place clients can avoid disputes, becoming involved in litigation or indeed the possibility that the court will divide the property in a way that one of the parties considers inequitable.
“Currently the take up on this is disappointingly low – meaning that many clients are left without adequate protection for their interests in the property.
“I would like to call upon all mortgage brokers to play their part in working with us to educate clients on the importance of this issue so client needs are fully met and their interests safeguarded.”