Declaration of Trust

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Buying a property with a partner is exciting but it is important to agree and legally record the basis of your joint property ownership with a Declaration of Trust document.

Our specialist residential property Solicitors can draw up a Declaration of Trust to record your property agreement, protect your interests and reduce the risk of litigation should you or your co-owner decide that you no longer want to own the property together.

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For no-obligation advice and information, call our specialist residential property solicitors today on 01642 252 828 or use our contact form and we will call you back.

Declaration of Trust

A Declaration of Trust can be used when a person decides to purchase a property with someone else or when a person moves into a property and the owner agrees that they will get an interest in the property.

A Declaration of Trust is recommended if you are buying a property with:

  • Your unmarried partner
  • Your brother or sister
  • A group of friends
  • Your parents
  • A colleague or partner as an investment

There are many reasons why you may want to buy a property with family or friends. For example:

  • To enable siblings or friends to afford their first property
  • Buying a second home as a family
  • Parents helping children or grandchildren take the first step on the housing ladder

Whatever the circumstances, a Declaration of Trust protects all the joint owners.

If you are buying as an engaged couple a prenuptial agreement may be more appropriate and if you are already married then a postnuptial agreement may be the recommended option.

Contents of a Declaration of Trust

A Declaration of Trust should include the following: 

  • Details of the joint owners, the property and the purchase price
  • Specify how much each co-owner contributed to the deposit and to the costs of buying the property
  • State the agreement on the percentage that each co-owner will contribute towards mortgage payments
  • The percentage of the equity in the property that each co-owner owns and how the equity is calculated
  • Whether the co-owners own the property together as joint tenants or as tenants in common

If co-owners fall out over whether the property should be sold or how the equity should be split an application can be made to Court to determine the property dispute. Signing a Declaration of Trust minimises those risks as the document records the agreement reached between co-owners and is binding.

 A member of our residential property team will be able to prepare the Declaration of Trust for you at the time of the property purchase.

Changing a Declaration of Trust

A Declaration of Trust can only be changed by agreement. In some cases, it is important to review and change the Declaration. For example, if one co-owner wants to invest more into the property by paying for an extension or home improvements. Alternatively, one co-owner may want to be bought out of the property so the shares of the other co-owners will need reconsideration.

Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common

There are two ways that co-owners of property can jointly own a property:

  • As joint tenants
  • As tenants in common

A joint tenancy is where the co-owners jointly own the property and if one co-owner dies, their share in the property will be passed to the surviving co-owner. With a tenancy in common, if one co-owner dies then their share in the property passes under their Will, or under intestacy rules, if they did not make a Will.

Co-owners of property should carefully consider which type of property ownership is best for their circumstances when drawing up a Declaration of Trust.

Our specialist property Solicitors can help you with your Declaration of Trust to ensure that all the co-owners understand ownership options and have peace of mind about their property co-ownership.

How Macks Can Help

Our solicitors will thoroughly explore your case and determine the best course of action that is tailored to your specific needs.

We will provide you with efficient, practical advice and keep you updated throughout your matter. Wherever possible we will offer a fixed fee, so you will always know what the costs are from the outset.

Contact us

For more information about Declarations of Trust, you can call us on 01642 252 828; alternatively, complete our online contact form and one of our residential property team will be in touch.

Macks Solicitors provide a comprehensive residential property service across the country from our offices in MiddlesbroughDarlington and Redcar.

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