Buying with a friend – A Solution or a Problem?

In the past few years, the cost of houses in the UK has risen significantly. Many find it difficult to afford a house on their own. So, they decide to buy with a friend. What are the pros and cons of doing so? Let’s have a look.

Pros

  • The foremost reason why some decide to buy a house with a friend is to make the purchase affordable. Two people can easily put together money for the deposit. With two salaries, mortgage payments, taxes and maintenance costs can also be easily cleared. Some first-time buyers would never be able to get on the property ladder if they weren’t buying with a friend.
  • Living with a friend can do much good to a person’s social life. Both of you may have friends coming over for parties and other recreation. In fact, many look back with joy at the memories they made when they shared a house with their friends.

Cons

  • If one of you gets into financial problems and is unable to pay the bills or the mortgage, it can get really frustrating. Even if one of you fails to pay the mortgage, both become liable.
  • What happens if one of you finds a new partner and wants to start a family? Will the new partner move in? Or will you part ways? If you do, what happens to the house?
  • If you want to vacate the house, will your partner cooperate and make payments required to vacate?
  • Disputes and arguments can happen between the thickest of friends. If it gets out of hand and you decide to go your separate ways, things can get complicated.

What you can do to avoid problems

  • First and most important, buy a house only with someone you can really trust.
  • Get to know each other’s financial situation, including any financial issues you both had in the past.
  • Openly discuss with each other about what happens if one of you decides to walk out later.
  • When you move in, maintain clear records of the bills and mortgage payments.
  • Try to have a joint account from which both of you can pay the mortgage.
  • Make a legally binding cohabitation agreement. This is definitely the most important step you can take. The agreement can have the following information:
    • How much share of the property will each one own
    • How much will each of you contribute for the deposit and the mortgage
    • How will the maintenance costs be shared
    • Some rules about smoking, pets, parties and anything else that comes to your mind
    • If disputes arise, how will they be handled. Be as specific and detailed as possible when writing about solutions to potential disputes.
    • Can the rooms be rented out? If yes, then who chooses the tenants
    • If you decide to sell the property, how will the property be valued and who will take care of the procedure
    • What happens if one of you dies

This agreement needs to be prepared by a qualified solicitor. Aristone Solicitors can help you make a well thought out agreement.

Additional tips

  • Make sure that both of you have a will as well as life insurance
  • Have an inventory of who owns what things in the house
  • Before buying the house with your friend, live with him in a rented house for a few months. It can help you see any potential problems that can arise when you buy a house.

Note:

If you buy as ‘tenants in common’, you can easily sell your share of the property. On the other hand, if you buy as ‘joint tenants’ you cannot do anything with the property without your partner agreeing to it.

Do you feel more confident with your decision to partner and purchase a property? Contact our experienced conveyancing solicitors who provide expert advise and ensure a smooth process throughout the process of purchase or sale of a property.

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