|Caution Advised on Property Joint Ownership|
Local solicitor highlights important change in the law
In these cash-strapped times it is often difficult for people to have enough funds to buy a property and the idea of teaming up with someone else is attractive.
However, local solicitor Helen Pidgeon, who has recently moved to Chiswick, has good advice for anyone in that situation, particularly in terms of what can happen some years down the line.
She commented, 'Following the Supreme court ruling in the landmark case of Kernott and Jones it is now more important than ever that if you buy a house with someone else; whether it be your partner, or a group of friends sharing, or for a property investment business; that you seek legal advice first as to the terms on how that property should be owned and divided on sale. It can be very costly to sort out after the event but simple to arrange in the first place by way of a Declaration of Trust.
'If you are not married but cohabiting with someone else, even if you have children with them, you do not have the same protection and rights to property as you would if you were married. There is no such legal concept as the “common law spouse”. '
There are different ways of recording who owns what interest in a property and there are important differences in them which has an impact on what happens to the property on your death and also what share you receive on it sale.
If there is a dispute as to ownership the court will now look behind what it says on the title deeds in some situations as to what it was the parties actually intended and in practice what they did.
A property is likely to be the most expensive asset you have, not to mention it being your home or business investment. Peace of mind through proper legal advice either at the point of purchase or now if already bought is therefore essential. “ says Helen , who can be contacted for legal advice at Helen Pidgeon Solicitors, 566 Chiswick Park London W4 5YA T.020 8899 6345
December 11, 2011