Moving In With Partner, Who Pays the Mortgage?


Moving in with your partner is an exciting time and is seen by couples as a way to progress their relationship to ‘the next level’. This can make a lot of sense; especially if one of you owns their own property. As a couple you can save money on paying rent, you get to see if you can cohabit with each other and then look to grow your relationship to take the next step - marriage.

The question is what happens if the relationship fails? Was the person who moved in simply paying a rent or were your intentions to jointly own the property and share in the property’s gains in the proportion you’ve contributed? All too often couples don’t think about this and simply get swept up in the emotion of moving in together; however this is where arguments happen.

What many couples forget is that unless you set out your intentions in writing before you move in and start paying the mortgage, one of you might be thinking that you are starting to co-own the property and share it together, where as the other is thinking that this is just a short-term relationship and not a joint investment.

The challenge arises where the relationship breaks down you thought that you were paying for a share in a joint property, your partner argues you were simply renting a space in the property. Your partner may even say that because your name isn't registered as an owner of the property means that you own nothing. This isn't correct, especially if you had agreed to share the property jointly.

Read on to find out what to do if you are looking to move in with your partner and want to jointly own the property.

Moving in With Partner as a Joint Owner

For most serious relationships this will be the most common scenario and the one that you must ensure you have clearly agreed your intentions at the outset.

An example of this would be if Jane moved into Tom’s flat which he is the sole owner. The flat currently costs around £300,000 with a £250,000 mortgage. Jane and Tom both agree that Jane will pay 50% of the £1,000 mortgage repayments and that Jane and Tom are going to jointly own the property in different shares.

Tom and Jane agreed at the outset that Jane would get 50% of any reduction in the mortgage repaid because she was directly contributing towards this and she’d also benefit from any price increase from when she moved in as a % of what they both contributed to the property investment. In Tom’s case he had already contributed £50,000 which was the difference in the current value of the property (£300k) and the mortgage (£250k).

After 5 years Jane and Tom break up and Tom agrees to buy out Jane’s share in the property. Jane has paid £30,000 in mortgage repayments over the 5 years and the mortgage has reduced by £40,000 to £210,000. The property has been valued now at £360,000 so it increased by £60,000.

This is what Jane got paid by Tom:




Original Share in Property

£50,000 £0 £50,000
Mortgage Contribution


£30,000 (50% of total)

£30,000 (50% of total)

Total Contribution £110,000 £30,000 (27% of total) £80,000 (73% of total)

  Total to share



Original Investment by Tom

£50,000 £0 £50,000
Share of reduction in mortgage

£40,000 £20,000 (50% of total) £20,000 (50% of total)
Share of increase in property

£60,000 £16,200 (27% of total) £43,800 (73% of total)
Total Share £150,000 £36,200 £113,800

This meant that Jane was due £36,200 for her share in the property as this is what Tom and Jane agreed at the outset.

Moving in with partnerHow should you document your intentions?

When moving in with your partner make sure to discuss what is going to happen if you start paying towards the mortgage. Drawing up a joint ownership agreement will stop either party arguing what their original intentions were.

I've already moved in with my partner. What should I do?

You can draw up a joint ownership agreement at any time, although sooner is always better. If you fall out, then you both have assurance that key matters are protected. It may be, however, that drawing up an agreement encourages you both to think your intentions through clearly and this of itself can ensure that you don't fall out.

Where can I get a joint ownership agreement?

Share a Mortgage's legal team has created Shared Ownership Protection, the best joint ownership agreement on the market. It centres on a declaration of trust, which ensures that any parties sharing know exactly who owns what in a mortgage share, right from the outset.

Its beauty is in its adaptability to the many kind of home sharing arrangements which exist today. You may be intending to marry the person you share a home with. You may be friends or family members buying a place and looking to sell up in a few years after (hopefully) making a capital gain. Whatever the situation, a robust joint ownership agreement means your contributions towards buying a house are protected and intentions are clear from the outset.

Moving in with someone and want to protect your mortgage contributions using a joint ownership agreement? Get Shared Ownership Protection - call 0333 344 3234.


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