If you decide to buy a property with someone else, either a partner or even a family member, a Declaration of Trust should be used to protect a deposit or deal with unequal shares.

A Declaration of Trust, also known as a Deed of Trust, is a legally binding document which records the financial arrangements between joint owners of a property and anyone else who may have a financial interest in the property.

The purpose of a Declaration of Trust is for you to determine what happens to each person’s money. Even if the property is being held at the land registry (the legal title) by one party, you can still have a declaration to confirm the shares of others who have an interest (known as a beneficial interest).

A Declaration of Trust should exist each time you buy a property with someone or with the help of someone unless all contributions to the purchase and going forward, will be equal. You should record differing contributions either to the purchase, with deposits and costs of buying or when you will be unequally contributing to the mortgage or outgoings for the property. It can set out how much each person is putting in and how much each person should get on sale. Having a Declaration of Trust avoids the uncertainty of what will happen when the property is sold or other circumstances arise.

A Declaration is ideal to protect funds when one party’s family has provided assistance for a deposit and where contributions are not equal, which is rarely the case in real life.

If you have already brought your property, all is not lost, as you can still have a Declaration at any time but it is best to get it completed as soon as possible.

One of our Solicitors would be able to help you with a Declaration of Trust and the options for dealing with your shares, be it that you protect the sums of money you or your family put it or even giving you an increased percentage share to reflect your initial investment.

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If you can’t find the information you are seeking or just want a fuller explanation please call us. We have a number of offices in and around London that may be convenient for you to contact but we will be able to help wherever you are based.

  • London
    London City office: 020 7481 2422
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    Bromley office: 020 8464 4242
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    Sevenoaks office: 01732 457575
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    Chislehurst office: 020 8295 1989