You are here: Home - News -

Lawyers urge the Government to review rights of cohabitees

by:
  • 29/07/2002
  • 0
Parliament is being urged to increase legal protection for unmarried couples sharing a home. The cal...

Parliament is being urged to increase legal protection for unmarried couples sharing a home. The call from the Law Society coincides with the publication of a discussion paper, Sharing Homes, from the Law Commission.

The paper debates problems that can arise when couples live together, such as whether an individual whose name is not on the mortgage, but makes contributions to the mortgage or upkeep of the property can obtain rights to a share in the property.

It concluded: ‘It is not possible to devise a statutory scheme for the determination of shares in a shared home which can operate fairly and evenly.’

The commission recommended people living together investigate the legal consequences of their decision and agree their rights by executing a declaration of trust.

Edward Goldsmith, partner of solicitors Goldsmith Williams, was disappointed the Law Commission had failed to come up with a solution.

‘People need to be told if they are planning to live together over the long term they must get their name on the mortgage ‘ and not rely on goodwill,’ he said.

According to the Law Society, cohabitees mistakenly believe they have similar rights to spouses on separation. As a result, the Law Society Council has issued its support to a statement that summarises the rights of couples that live together.

The proposed ‘rights’ include legal protection for cohabitees (of the same and opposite sex) once they have lived together for two years, or if they have had a child.

As many couples wait until they are older before marrying, or put off marriage altogether, cohabitation is becoming increasingly common. According to the Law Society, one in four children is born to cohabiting parents.

Carolyn Kirby, president of the Law Society said the UK’s legal system must evolve to recognise changes in society.

‘The term common law partner has no legal meaning, which means on separation cohabitees can be left without any resources. The law must be reformed to reflect modern life. We will lobby for the law to be changed to protect the vulnerable,’ she said.


Tags

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.

Profiles

Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.

Marketwatch

Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.

Poll

Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
Read previous post:
third party administrators

Xit2 Xit2, the provider of outsourced process management for lenders, has named Paul Duckworth as ...

Close