Le­gal Brief­ing

In a weekly col­umn for the Star, solic­i­tor Juliet Phillip­sJames casts her ex­pert eye over a range of le­gal mat­ters and urges any­one with any ques­tions or prob­lems to come for­ward for help.

Llanelli Star - - NEWS -

Q

I have been with my girl­friend for six months and we have de­cided to move in to­gether. I al­ready own a house so she is mov­ing in with me. I have a con­sid­er­able amount of eq­uity in the prop­erty and my par­ents are con­cerned that she could have a claim on the prop­erty.

I gen­uinely think she would not do that but my par­ents have told me to get le­gal ad­vice to see if there are any mea­sures I can put in place to pre­vent her from hav­ing a claim.

It is a bit of an awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion to raise with my girl­friend so I would be grate­ful for any ad­vice you can give be­fore I broach the sub­ject. Is there any pos­si­bil­ity she could have a claim on my prop­erty?

A

This is a tricky is­sue to raise with your girl­friend but there are mea­sures that can be put in place to record the un­der­stand­ing of both par­ties in re­spect of the prop­erty.

This is known as a co­hab­i­ta­tion agree­ment. Notwith­stand­ing this agree­ment if your girl­friend makes a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to the house, whether it be by way of mort­gage pay­ments or im­prove­ments she could have a claim un­der the Trusts of Land and Ap­point­ment of Trustees Act 1996.

Un­der this leg­is­la­tion she could ap­ply for the sale of the prop­erty (notwith­stand­ing she is not reg­is­tered as an owner) on the ba­sis she has ac­cu­mu­lated an eq­ui­table in­ter­est.

I think at this junc­ture it may be wise to seek the ad­vice of a solic­i­tor deal­ing in trusts and co­hab­i­ta­tion dis­putes to map out the best way of pro­tect­ing your eq­uity.

Find more le­gal ad­vice from Juliet Phillips-James at... www.waleson­line.co.uk

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