Joint Ownership Agreement


Joint ownership agreement - this is a legally binding agreement you get drafted when you are about to share buying a home with friends, family or as an unmarried couple. 

Its point is to protect each sharer's individual interest in the property that they share; including their original deposit, mortgage repayments and gain in the property's value.

You all agree procedures and rules that you will follow that will help you have a harmonious relationship while you are sharing the ownership of your property. Agreements can be drafted both for when you are actually living in the same property and for when you have bought a buy to let property with others.

Key to any such agreement is a deed of trust. Additionally, if you are living with other people in the property, you may choose to include a cohabitation agreement .

NB You can buy a joint ownership agreement AT ANY TIME during your joint ownership: it is legally binding as soon as you draw it up - call 0333 344 3234 for more details.

Who is a joint ownership agreement suited to?

A joint ownership agreement is a must for anyone who is or is intending to share a mortgage with one or more people as tenants in common (with uneven shares in the property):

  • Married people or those in a civil partnership;
  • Partners;
  • Family members; and
  • Friends

The sharers may have bought the property as a buy to let investment or to live in themselves.

What's the point of a joint ownership agreement?

The key feature is the deed of trust part. It sets out how to work out anyone's individual share of ownership, consisting of deposit and mortgage repayment contributions, so all know what this is at any point in time during a share.

It would be very unusual to purchase a property where everything is 100% equally shared; in practice, one person normally presents a larger deposit or makes greater mortgage repayments. The property sharing agreement sets out how much each of you has invested and will invest in mortgage repayments. All of which is taking into consideration when calculating your share of sale proceeds. Even when buying with your partner you will greatly appreciate having all this set down should your relationship run into difficulties.

It also gives clear direction about how anyone can exit the property share in a number of circumstances and can include, for example, how long you intend to share the property for. In most cases this period is at least until the early repayment charging period on a mortgage has passed.

You can add in further specific provisions with a  cohabitation agreement element which states pre-agreed house rules and an inventory of your possessions. Each agreement can be made unique because a house share can be conducted in so many different ways. Some people like cats, for example, and are fine with cats being part of a home; others do not like them - they may be allergic to them, for example - and will not tolerate this.  

Will a joint ownership agreement stand up in court?

Share a Mortgage's joint ownership agreement is called Shared Ownership Protection and has been drafted by lawyers to provide legal support to home buyers who use it.  

The joint ownership agreement's terms are mutually agreed by all parties buying the property and then the document is finalised and forms the contract of understanding between all the parties. 

The joint ownership agreement is a legal document and can be used by the property sharers to resolve future disagreements between them; however because potential disputes have already been discussed and principles agreed, then the chance of issues arising is greatly reduced.

Why should I get a joint ownership agreement?

  • Any funds you've invested in a property are legally and clearly recorded;
  • You put strategies in place for dealing with the sharing relationship breaking down;
  • You know how you can exit the property share in an emergency situation;
  • You can choose to agree house or sharing rules which make for greater harmony; and
  • You can use the agreement as material evidence in a Court of Law in a legal dispute.

How can I get a joint ownership agreement?

Click on Shared Ownership Protection to order your own individual joint ownership agreement.

If you have any questions about joint ownership agreements, our advisors will answer them. Simply call us on 0207 112 5388 or email us at