Unmarried and buying a house together? Seek legal guidance

Buying a house with a partner is a stressful, but romantic time. Looking at the properties and imagining your lives together in them, along with what colour wall paper and whether to have matching drapes is a big distraction.
For everyone except the very fortunate, buying a house will also be a huge financial commitment and one of the most important decisions that you will make. You may have worked out everything with your partner, such as you using your Aunt Mildred’s inheritance as the deposit and they will pay the mortgage and you will pay the bills, but you must not get so carried away with it all that you don’t consult with a lawyer before you purchase.
We understand that lawyers may not be your favourite people while you are buying a house, they will be as popular with you as estate agents. However, a short appointment with a lawyer could save you from losing all your money and your home if things go wrong.
Putting together a legal document that dictates what will happen to your finances in the event of a break up isn’t the most romantic thing you will ever do as a couple, but neither is fearing for your home and money every time you have a minor disagreement about leaving the toilet seat up.
Although many unmarried couples now cohabit, the law does not protect them and their assets in the same way as married couples are protected. You won’t be seen as a family unit, instead, if things go to court the raw financial and legal facts will be analysed, rather than the promises and assumptions that were made when you purchased the house. A lawyer can outline all the possible situations and help you to put together a contract stating who owns the property and what will happen if you split.
This way you can both get on and enjoy living in the property free from worries, as your individual investments will be protected and you can properly prepare if you do split. Every couple has ups and downs and the downs can be a lot worse if you fear that you will also lose your home as well as your partner.

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