Buying a Property in Joint Names

Statistics show that in recent years property prices have increased at a faster rate than wages. We have found that many people look to purchase in joint names with a partner or friend in order to be able to afford a suitable home at a more reasonable price.

Purchasing in joint names usually will increase your maximum borrowing capacity, as the lender will look at all parties income and take this into account when running the affordability calculations.

How Many People Can Co-Own a Property?

Surprisingly, we work with some lenders who will accept up to 4 people co-owning a property. If for any reason, one of the co-owners of the property decides to no longer contribute to the mortgage repayments, any joint owners will still have the legal right to reside in the property unless this is ruled otherwise by a court.

If you would like to increase the mortgage at a later date, you must gain consent from all co-owners involved. It’s therefore essential that you make long term plans about what will happen in the future should you end up wanting different things. 

Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common?

We find the most popular Tenancy for married couples or those in civil partnerships is ‘Joint Tenancy’. With this type of tenure, if either party were to pass away, the property would be handed over to the co-owner. If you have taken out relevant life insurance, at this point, your mortgage would be repaid.

With ‘Joint Tenancy’, when looking to remortgage or sell the property in the future. It would be required that all names on the tenancy agree to this. 

When purchasing with relatives or friends, we find that ‘Tenants In common’ is the most popular tenure. You will still jointly co-own the property but are have the flexibility to do so not with equal shares. This works well if one party is making a more significant financial contribution than the other.

With ‘Tenants in Common’, another positive aspect, is that you can act independently. For example, you can choose to sell or give away your share of the property to someone else without the need to consult other parties.

Do I have to pay the mortgage if we separate?

All mortgage borrowers are jointly and severally liable for mortgage payments. If you find yourself paying all future payments without a co-owner, you will still be liable. You are preventing the mortgage from falling into any debt. As mortgage arrears showing on your credit file could have the potential to stop you from obtaining a mortgage in the future.

It is best to think of it like this: You don’t own 50% of a property, you own 100% jointly.

How do I remove my ex-partner from a Joint Mortgage?

Lenders will need to be confident that you can keep up with monthly payments on your own before they can approve of this happening.

When purchasing a home with a partner, it’s a whole new chapter starting in your life and can be a great way to start fresh with another individual. In all the excitement of moving home, it can make you wonder about the justifications if things go sideways.

As seen from above, a mortgage is a big financial commitment and making changes is going to be a challenge.

With physical proof that you can maintain mortgage payments since your old partner moved, the lender may agree to your request to put the mortgage into your single name. However, Lenders like the idea that there are two people to pursue in the event of arrears occurring. To remove someone, they will carry out a brand-new affordability assessment, precisely in the same way as they would at the point of purchase.

Whilst a lender may not accept a request, it’s always beneficial to speak with a mortgage advisor beforehand, as there may be other lenders who could agree to your transfer request.

It can also be worth talking to family members to see if they can help you out to make life a little bit easier. They can do so by replacing your ex on your mortgage or by gifting you a lump sum to reduce the amount owed, meaning your savings can contribute to easing your future mortgage payments.

Can I remove my name from a Joint Mortgage?

If you and your partner split up and you leave the family home, then your responsibility is still shared for mortgage payments even if an agreement was settled with your ex that they will make all the payments.

If you are sending your partner money each month, you should keep an eye on your credit report to ensure they are paying the mortgage. If they default, then it will impact your own score.

Is your name still linked with an existing mortgage? Then the payments for that will be considered if you buy a new home of your own. That will mean Lenders might not lend you as much as you would like.

Buying a home with someone is different from renting with them. It’s always better to agree on what would happen to the house should things not plan out as expected.

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