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25 January 2013

Joint Property Ownership – protecting your interests

The Law Society and the Land Registry have joined together to issue a guidance note to Solicitors reiterating the importance of advising co-owners to carefully consider how their property is to be held.

The intention is that, by taking detailed legal advice from their Solicitors at an early stage, co-owners should avoid the possibility of any disagreement if their relationship breaks down in the future.

Most disputes arise between unmarried cohabitees, but they can also arise between family members, friends or business partners who buy property together. In particular problems can arise where one party has contributed more towards the purchase price of the property and this has not been properly documented.

Recent court decisions such as Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17 and Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53, have highlighted the importance for joint home buyers to define their respective interests in the property and to make sure those interests are accurately recorded.

Whether you currently own property jointly or are planning to purchase property in joint names, Steeles Law can advise you on the options available to protect your investment.

The Land Registry Public Guide on Joint Property Ownership can be found here.

For further information about jointly owned property please do not hesitate to contact a member of our conveyancing team.