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Why a Deed of Trust is crucial for young couples starting on the housing ladder

Posted on Wednesday, 24th April 2013 by

Photo Credit: kelley_leigh via Compfight cc

With the Government’s new initiatives on helping young couples start on the housing ladder, and the trend towards sharing the cost of mortgages with family or partners, it is becoming increasingly important to document what should happen if it all goes wrong.


  • Did one partner provide the deposit, if so should they get that back first if the property is sold?
  • Is one partner paying more of the mortgage than the other, if so should they get a bigger share of sale proceeds?
  • What happens if one partner moves out or wants to sell, can they force the other party to do this?
  • Should the partner left in occupation pay rent?


If these issues have been agreed in advance then when a crisis occurs it makes it infinitely easier to resolve. Such agreements are usually referred to as Deeds of Trust by lawyers, and if requested a Solicitor will usually be happy to draw one up when the purchase of a property is being dealt with.

In the absence of agreement the parties will inevitably have a different recollection of what they thought they agreed.

The Court can be asked to adjudicate under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (commonly known as TOLATA) however the process can be slow and expensive so if there are only a modest amount of sale proceeds they could all be wasted.

The moral of the story is to make sure whatever you agree is in writing at the time you purchase.

If you’re about to buy a house with a partner or family or would like to know more about Deeds of Trust call Douglas Wemyss today on 0116 2665394.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Douglas Wemyss - Commercial Property
Douglas Wemyss - Commercial Property
douglas.wemyss@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 0116 266 5394
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