Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Remember Your Rights

A friend and I are thinking about buying a property together if the price is right, so today I went to see the bank about a mortgage. The female adviser not only gave me advice about the best mortgage deal, but she also got me thinking about women’s rights. She had just gotten burned by an ex-boyfriend (formerly known as “the one” in her life). They had bought a house together. She had the better job and earned a larger salary, so she put down most of the deposit and from there on out they split the bills. Only when they broke up, he told her to take him to court and try to get her money back. She was advised by a lawyer that it would probably be more expensive to sue, so she ended up settling with him for only a fraction of what she had put into the property. The moral of this story is that women (even mortgage advisers) need to keep their finances straight and not see relationships (with boyfriends or other friends) through rose tinted glasses.

What she should have done was ask a lawyer/solicitor to draw up a contract before they purchased the building to agree how the money would be split should they ever break up – kind of like a house pre-nup. And always remember to research whether you want to jointly buy as tenants in common or joint tenants, so your wishes are carried out if you are ever hit by a bus. On that light note, this is what went whizzing past me as I crossed the street to my mortgage appointment. What is it?

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