‘Moving in together’ can cover various situations, including the exciting prospect of buying your first home with your partner or friend, gifts from parents or grandparents to help with the purchase, the purchase of a ‘granny flat’ (or annex), and even elderly parents or grandparents moving in with their children. However, some may not realise how risky their situation can be from a legal point of view until it is too late…
Implications to consider:-
- Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) there could be a 3% surcharge on the purchase of a granny flat or annex which could be classed as an additional residential property. The surcharge applies to the whole of the property and not just the annex.
- Parents/grandparents providing gifted deposits and the future inheritance tax implications. Inheritance tax may be payable if the donor dies within 7 years of making the gift.
- The type of ownership of the property i.e. joint tenants or tenants in common in unequal shares. You may need to consider making your position more secure should the relationship break down in the future. For example, has one party contributed more towards the purchase price of a property? If so, a Declaration of Trust setting out the terms to protect their interest would be advisable.
Practical difficulties including aging and future social care of elderly parents/grandparents living with children. Will the elderly family member contribute financially towards their living and household expenses? It may be that they have paid for alterations to accommodate their needs and that they require a form of guarantee such as a “life interest” in the property so that they have the legal right to live there for as long as they require. A more complex trust arrangement may need to be put in place.
Should you need legal advice regarding any of the above or other residential property matters, please do not hesitate to contact Anna Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org, Beverley Pretl at email@example.com or Martin Blaylock at firstname.lastname@example.org