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Co-ownership: Things To Consider When Buying a Home With A Partner You Aren't Married To

Posted by Melvin Monachan | Mar 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

​The prospect of moving in with your partner is an exciting one. But while you may be delighted to enter into a new phase of your relationship, there are a few things you should consider before making the leap.

Co-owning a house is a decision that many unwed millennial couples have been increasingly drawn to in recent years. According to a study released by Coldwell Banker in 2013, approximately one in four young couples (aged 18-34) had bought property together prior to getting married. The reasons are clear: skyrocketing rent, low mortgage rates, and the option of deducting property taxes and mortgage interest from income taxes. All factors that make home buying a very appealing option.

Although moving in with a partner may seem like the most sensible thing to do at the time, it's important you remember that co-owning a house or condo with someone you aren't married to comes with inherent financial risks. Once you officially move in, you enter into a legal relationship with your partner. And there aren't many laws that extend sympathy to unwed homeowners.

The reality is that relationships don't always work out. When they don't and you co-own a property, it typically triggers a property dispute. And before you know it, you're in court fighting over who should own the property and/or what should be done with it.

With that being said, sharing property ownership doesn't have to end in chaos. If you take the proper steps to protect yourself before committing to anything, you can increase your chances of ending (if things end, of course) on a high note. Here are a few tips to consider:

Decide In Advance Who Should be on the Title

It's always the same age-old story. One partner has decent or good credit, so his/her name goes on the title despite the fact that both parties are equally contributing to the property. If things go awry down the line, the person on the title might feel empowered to kick the other person out or get them evicted. In order to prevent this from happening in your relationship, make sure that both of your names are on the title from the beginning.

Talk About Establishing a Co-Tenant Agreement

Perhaps one person is more invested in the property than the other, so you both agree that only one person should be on the title of the property. A co-tenant agreement is another way to mitigate future issues. A co-tenant agreement is a document that states that you both will follow certain terms in the event you are to break up. Factors like whether either party can sell the property and other legal aspects of homeownership can be addressed in this agreement.

With either choice, you should contact an attorney to give you sound advice.

Call a New York Real Estate Attorney

At the Law Offices of Melvin Monachan, we've helped numerous people tied up in complex real estate disputes overcome these issues with our expertise and knowledge. Let us help you find a solution to your real estate issues. Contact us online or give us a call at (516) 714-5763.

About the Author

Melvin Monachan

Melvin Monachan is the founder of The Law Office of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, a full service, real estate law firm representing individuals, investors and corporate entities in all aspects of real estate law. On the transactional side, Melvin represents purchasers and...


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