MMD: Should Jennifer do the deeds with Brad?

in Money Saving Polls
81 replies 11.4K views
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should Jennifer do the deeds with Brad?

Jennifer has owned her own house for 2 years, having worked hard to save the money for a deposit and pay the mortgage. Now Brad, her boyfriend, is moving in. He's never been good with money, but says that as he'll now be contributing to the mortgage he wants to be added to the deeds. Jennifer's unsure; she wants to keep her investment safe in case the relationship doesn't last, but doesn't want to sour things with Brad.
Should Jennifer do the deeds with Brad?
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  • 20thcenturycat20thcenturycat Forumite
    23 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I think definitely not - but on the other hand she shouldn't be accepting money from him towards the mortgage. Bills, yes, but not the mortgage. If the relationship becomes more permanent, or he starts to be in a position to contribute reliably, but until then, she'd just be leaving herself wide open to ending up having to sell the home she worked hard for if the relationship ends.

    I faced a similar dilemma myself. My bf's earnings are just not stable enough to contribute to a mortgage and his credit rating wouldn't be good enough to have his name on the mortgage anyway, so the bank said his name cannot be on the deeds. In the end he put in a lump sum and we got a solicitor to draw us up an agreement to protect our individual contributions if we sell or split.

    Unromantic maybe but while I am prepared to share a loo I'm not prepared to share bank accounts yet...

    Meanwhile, my boyfriend thinks Brad sounds like a fine upstanding young man, and Jen should put his name on the deeds, or she will end up being alone and bitter when the business world chews her up and spits her out :eek:.
  • CharisCharis Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker

    Unromantic maybe but while I am prepared to share a loo I'm not prepared to share bank accounts yet...

    The best piece of advice I have seen on this subject was that to keep her independence a woman should have her own bank account, her own driving licence and her own passport. (No choice over the latter nowadays, but once upon a time....)

    There's also that Baz Lehrmann (sp?) song about suncream, which reminds girls not to rely on a lover or a trust fund 'because you never know when they might run out.'

    It happens.
  • I would say no, don't do it. If at a later date when Brad has a suitable deposit then Jennifer and Brad could choose to buy a property together or address the ownership issue at that stage.

    Adding someone to the deeds where a mortgage is involved is not that simply. As 20thcenturycat post highlights the mortgage company is one interested party. To reflect Jennifer's greater contribution to date only paying a share of the mortgage should only reflect an appropriate share of the property. If Jennifer were to sell Brad a share of the house it would have to be valued and if that share was in excess of the stamp duty threshold, there could also be stamp duty to pay and legal fees.

    Should Brad be determined and Jennifer willing, then Brad should foot all the legal, tax and mortgage fees associated with adding his name to the mortgage. As Jennifer had to when she purchased the property. There should also be legal agreement as to what happens in the event of either party wanting to sell for whatever reason. Wonder if Brad will still be keen when the true cost of adding his name to the mortgage becomes clear.

    I think it would be perfectly acceptable for Brad to pay Jennifer something towards living costs, as Brad has to live somewhere and would otherwise be paying rent. How Jennifer decides to spend that contribution be it towards the mortgage or bills does not entitle Brad to share in the property unless Jennifer so chooses.
  • TustasticTustastic Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    No, Jennifer should not put Brad's name on the deeds of the property. She's showing her feelings for him by inviting him to move in, and he's going to show his feelings (we hope) by paying his share of the bills.
    Anyone, male or female, who asks to be put on the deeds of their partner's property when they move in is definitely dodgy IMO.
    Same principle with cars - you might put a partner on the insurance, but you wouldn't expect to be asked to register it as jointly owned, would you?
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MoneySavingExpert Forum Team
  • Not unless he formally takes over half the mortgage (without joint and several liability!).
  • MarisanMarisan Forumite
    96 Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    No,Jennifer should definately not put Brad's name on the deeds.My sister's BF was most adamnant that he wanted her to do this when he moved into her home,but she demurred.After two years they married,and as her husband he thought it was his right,and I have to say,that I could see his point at that stage.

    However,the marriage did not last and he threatened to force a sale of the house,as he had contributed over the years.How much stronger would his case have been had he been on the deeds?
    .Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
  • Sammy85_2Sammy85_2 Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    No short answer to this im afraid.

    My partner and I are in a similar situation (only we're both good with money).

    He owns two properties and we own two together. We live in one of his properties. I contribute towards the mortgage and bills since i live in the house. I feel this is only fair, afterall, if we rented somewhere together i'd have to pay my share of the rent! The money i pay isnt paid directly to the mortgage, i just pay him half the mortgage amount.

    Im not on the deeds, nor do i push him to put me on them. The house is his, he had it for almost a year before we met and made a years worth of mortgage payments on it, as well as the start up fees!!

    If all went down the loo, id be no finacially worse off, i'd have spent that money on rents elsewhere anyway, and he too would be no worse off because i wouldnt be running off with half his house.

    In the future, should we get married which -hopefully- would be til we're old and wrinkly, then sure i'd want to reconsider our position on this. I'd hope we'd share everything by that point, including our properties - on paper aswell as financially.

    So, on that note. Jen should only put him on the deeds if they get married. If she cant trust him enough at that point, she shouldnt be marrying the fella!!
    :jProud mummy to a beautiful baby girl born 22/12/11 :j
  • I totally agree with the advice given having been in this situation myself. Luckily, I had a very fair ex-partner/husband. The difficult part will be breaking the news to Brad. If Jennifer feels bad about it, she should take a long hard look at why Brad is asking for this and what his motives are. He's obviously not stupid.

    Does anyone know what the legal position is in terms of how long you can live with someone and contribute to the household before having a stake in the property? Didn't a lodger sucessfully sue their landlord for half the house after carrying our repairs and decorating? If this is the case, be careful even accepting money toward bills. A legal agreement may be the best way.
  • tallgirldtallgirld Forumite
    484 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    No Way!! No Way!!
  • ailuro2ailuro2 Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    When my BF moved in with me we split all the bills down the middle EXCEPT the mortgage. I carried on paying that myself, so things did not get complicated if we broke up.

    I had previously been in a very awkward situation because of sharing a mortgage and the other person dragging their heels over getting my name off of the mortgage.:mad:

    If they are still together after two years, then perhaps they could think about putting his name on the deeds. On the condition he has half her original deposit in savings to submit ti the mortgage overpayment fund, of course!! After all he's been rent-free for the last two years.;)
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
    Balance 19th April '07 = minus £27,640
    Balance 1st November '09 = mortgage paid off with £1903 left over. Title deeds are now ours.
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