Joint ownership: points to consider

Buying a property is a massive decision and one which should not be taken lightly. It is also likely to be the biggest financial move of your life so the chances are that you will want to do it with a partner.

Both the cost of purchasing the property and the cost of living there can be made much more manageable when you have a partner but the difficulties of joint ownership, particularly from a legal standpoint, should not be underestimated. It is often assumed that being a partner in the joint ownership of a property means that you will be given property rights should the relation come to an end but this is not an absolute rule by any means.

The tips listed below should help you get your head around joint ownership:

Decide how much you can each pay and how much you will own:

You and your partner both need to be perfectly aware from the outset how much you can afford to contribute and if you cannot contribute equal shares you may not wish to receive equal stakes in the property. Knowing this makes it far easier to work out what you are entitled to should the partnership break down.

Inform your mortgage provider:

In order to change the names on any mortgage deeds the approval of the mortgage provider must be obtained. It is crucial that the deeds correctly reflect joint ownership because they must match the details registered at the Land Registry. You can check exactly who is listed as owning the title to the property by getting in touch with the Land Registry and it is important that you do so because this determines who has legal rights in the event of separation.

Keep up-to-date records:

Should you and your partner separate you will need to know exactly what contribution has been made by each of you so that property assets can be divided accordingly. You must keep up to date records of who has paid for what, whether it is gas or electric bills, insurance premiums, or maintenance work. This is particularly important if you end up in court because the court will demand that such information is disclosed.

Make sure that you remember who has paid for deposits as well because these can be of significant value. Sometimes separating partners assume that splitting everything down the middle is fair forgetting that one partner paid the property deposit in full.

Make plans for the future:

When you are buying your first property it is easy to get excited and forget about the long term considerations. For example, you will need to talk about what will happen if one partner moves out of the home. This will often mean that the property needs to be sold which can cause great difficulty if you are buying in a group of friends or relatives.

You should also consider contacting a solicitor about making a will which will detail exactly who is entitled to receive your property share should you die. You may not want your partner to receive this share if it was a girlfriend or boyfriend you broke up with for example.

Get an expert solicitor:

Make sure you have an expert property solicitor who can protect your property interests. Writing a Declaration of Trust is a good idea because this essentially acts as an insurance policy protecting your rights should you separate. Whilst this can be costly it is sensible and your solicitor can take care of it for you.

Call today for advice on joint owning Archers Gate properties

If you are looking to joint own a property in the popular Archers Gate development, the expert property solicitors at Bonallack & Bishop can help. We specialise in dealing with Archers Gate properties and have the experience and expertise needed to protect your property interests.

Call today on 01722 422300, or

Complete the enquiry form below to get in touch.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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Amesbury Business2Business 2013 event – see you there

Amesbury Business2Business 2013 event – see you there

Amesbury’s very own business Expo, Business2Business 2013, which is run by the Stonehenge Chamber Of Trade, takes place on Thursday, September 19 at Antrobus house in Amesbury.

This is a great example of a highly successful local business show – this is the seventh year, Amesbury has had its own business Expo and we are proud to have a stall there and each and every one.

So whether you are a business wanting to exhibit or perhaps you’ve recently bought a house on the Archers Gate development and simply want to come along and visit, make sure you’re there between 3 and 7 PM on September 19.

PS – if you are a business, it’s probably worth booking early – last year over 40 local businesses were exhibitors and I suspect it will sell out again this year – you make some really useful contacts and yes, it’s incredibly cheap.

For more information about this year’s event, visit the Amesbury chamber of trade website at

Hope to see you there

Tim Bishop, senior partner Bonallack and Bishop, solicitors




How you can tell we are conveyancing specialists

We are pleased to say that Bonallack and Bishop have now been accredited for the Conveyancing Quality Scheme run by the Law Society.

The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) covers all the legal work involved in buying, selling and renting a property and provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing law firms.

Why is it important? You might think that conveyancing is a simple and straightforward process, but the reality is that it is becoming increasingly complex. Chains are becoming more complex, mortgage companies more prone to withdrawing mortgage offers and there are a raft of new and complex other factors – including solar panels, for example [if you buy a house with a solar panel, did you realise that you’re taking on certain rights and responsibilities that come with ownership of the house?].

What’s more, especially in times of recession, the issues surrounding potential fraud, and claims by lenders and title disputes and claims by lenders seem to becoming more common.

To protect those buying or selling property, the CQS was launched by the Law Society provide a nationally recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing law firms – so by appointing members of the accreditation scheme clients can ensure they have found specialist conveyancers to represent them. To quote the Law Society themselves, “members are approved by the Law Society as experts” in conveyancing. After all, buying property is probably the biggest financial transaction, you run to take – you want to make sure your property solicitor really knows what they’re doing.

Membership of this, the scheme also reassures lenders, who are increasingly demanding that law firms must be members of the quality scheme. In fact, the CQS is supported by the Association of British Insurers, Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association.

However, as you would expect, being awarded membership is far from straightforward. To become accredited, any law firm will have to:

o show a minimum of three years’ experience of residential conveyancing;

o satisfy checks on the integrity of the firm in general and individual staff involved in the conveyancing process;

o establish that the firm achieves consistent high quality standards;

o sign up to a ‘clients’ charter’;

o have robust quality assurance, which is readily reviewed by ‘spot checks’ and file audits.

Call Amesbury [01980] 622992 for quality conveyancing advice from accredited local experts

Moving home can be a very stressful process but knowing that the solicitor in charge of your legal work is an accredited conveyancing expert can help to put your mind at ease.

Thinking of buying on the Archers Gate development in Amesbury?

  • Call us today on 01980 622992 or, or
  • Complete the enquiry form below to get in touch with our specialists.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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