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Cohabiting – who owns the home?

Posted on Tuesday, 28th May 2013 by

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc


It is well known that merely cohabiting with a partner does not give you legal rights to the family home if it is held in the sole name of one cohabitee.

Ordinarily if a family home is owned in the sole name of a cohabitee the partner who does not legally own the home must establish that it was the parties common intention that both partners own the home, and then look at the whole course of dealing between the parties (including contributions made, financial and otherwise, and conversations had between the parties) to establish the interest.

In a recent case the partners did intend to buy the home jointly. However, one partner had no income at the time and did not have a good employment history. Therefore, they could not obtain a mortgage in joint names and the home was bought in the sole name of one of the partners.

The partner who was not employed did not put any initial capital in and only contributed to the household finances as and when they could (i.e when in employment). The household was paid for in the majority by one partner who had two jobs.

The partner who did not contribute much to the household was held to have a 10% interest in the property. This case goes to show that even if the partner has not put any capital into the property, they may still be able to demonstrate there was an intention they have some measure of beneficial interest.

If you would like more help and advice on your cohabitation arrangments we can set up a free, no obligaiton, 30 minute consultation at one of our offices. Click to get in touch here

Faye Remnant is part of our Family Law team based in Loughborough; our Solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.

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