What is a cohabitation agreement?

This is an agreement which records arrangements between couples who live together. It records each person’s rights and obligations in relation to where they live and their financial arrangements. It can outline what happens during their relationship and what the arrangements would be if they were to separate.

Pros

Cohabitation agreements are a helpful way of recording a couple’s intention if they are living together in respect of legal ownership. For example, you can help protect money given to you by your family for a deposit on a property by outlining what happens to that money in the event of a break up and the property being sold.

This minimises the likelihood of a dispute about ownership if the relationship ends. The agreement should record what happens after separation such as:

  • Who will live at the property and who will pay the bills, pending sale
  • How and who will value the property
  • How the costs of the sale will be paid
  • How the sale proceeds will be split

Cons

  • There is uncertainty about whether cohabitation agreements are enforceable at Court. There is no recent case law about the validity of cohabitation agreements.
  • These issues can be difficult to discuss with your partner!
  • The best way to define how you own property is to record this on the TR1 when you are purchasing your property.

You can find further information here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registered-titles-whole-transfer-tr1

Next Steps

Consider what you want to include in your Cohabitation Agreement and contact our Head of Family, Hannah Anderson, at hannah.anderson@bookersandbolton.co.uk. Or call us today for an informal chat on 01420 82881.