When buying a property with a partner, frequently it’s the case that you aren’t providing equal contributions towards the deposit. We regularly get asked, ‘how can I protect my deposit in these circumstances?’ A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document recording the financial arrangements between joint property owners (or anyone else who has a financial interest in a property) and can be useful in these circumstances.
A Declaration of Trust removes the uncertainty as to who receives how much of the sale proceeds. It could dictate that you each receive your respective deposits back in the first instance, with the remaining proceeds split equally, or in the percentage split in which you are paying the mortgage. Equally, if one party will be making additional contributions to the property by way of additional mortgage payments or renovation works, this could also be recorded.
A Declaration of Trust could also dictate a procedure that must be followed when the property is sold, including the option to purchase each other’s share of the property in the unfortunate circumstance that you separate.
For spouses or civil partners, a Declaration of Trust may also be useful for income tax purposes. If a property is owned jointly, unless indicated otherwise when the property is purchased you will be deemed to own 50% each. If one of you pays a higher rate of income tax, it could be tax-efficient to use a Declaration of Trust to change the percentage split in which the property is owned.
If you want to find out more about this matter, I can be reached by phone on 01603 724688 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Claire Nelson