What is co-ownership?

Co-ownership is where two or more people own the same property together. This can be two people who already know each other (partners, family members or friends), or, people who have matched together on Mortgage Mates.

There are two primary types of co-ownership, but for the purposes of the information provided on our website, we are specifically looking at Tenants In Common. Further information should be sought for other types of co-owning opportunities.

Legalvision define Tenants In Common as follows:

‘When parties own property as tenants in common it means that two or more people co-own a property in defined shares that they can dispose of as they wish. The shares owned by each tenant in common can be equal or unequal. For example, one person may own 99% of the shares with the other owning 1%.The precise way that you choose to split the shares is up to you and the other parties.’

Co-ownership can also be known as mortgage sharing, joint ownership, shared ownership or a declaration of trust. We use the co-ownership when we talk about our Mates owning together, because it is the legal definition of owning a home with another person.

Co-ownership can apply to properties being purchased for investment, for homes being purchased to live in and a mixture of the two.

Mortgage Mates was created because we see the value in sharing the cost of owning a home, and whilst we are passionate about what we do, we know lots of people are probably reading this thinking ‘is it safe’?

The answer is YES!

Our website provides information on how to co-own safely and securely, regardless of who you are owning with.

In particular, we champion the use of a legal document called a co-ownership agreement to make the process safe and secure for both buyers entering the market.

A co-ownership agreement can also be known as a legal contract, cohabitation agreement or deed of trust. It acts just like an insurance policy by setting out the terms of how you own together- protecting your assets IF you need it to.

In the co-ownership agreement you can include information about how you own together, how long you own together and how much you own together. This may include highlighting how much of a deposit was paid in, how much is paid towards the mortgage each week and who benefits from any renovations made to the property.

How to safely co-own a home.

There are a number of steps we can help you take to own a property safely and securely.

  • Start with our FREE co-ownership manual to get step by step support on how to buy together. This is available in our Information Centre, alongside other useful guides and information packs. 
  • Decide to use a co-ownership agreement to protect the assets of you and your co-owner.
  • Research how you want to draft your co-ownership agreement. Would you like to download an agreement and complete it yourself, or, access legal advice from a lawyer to draft the agreement?
  • Once you know which type of agreement you want to use (DIY or support from a lawyer),  you can go to our What to do Next page to access the document and support right for you. We have a selection of lawyers available to help you draft an agreement.
  • Reach out. If you have any questions you can’t find the answers to we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction to get the support and advice you need.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A CO-OWNERSHIP AGREEMENT

How long you want to own together, including exit time frames
How much you both own, and contribute to buying the house
Specific terms important to you- such as whether you co-live or co-invest together
How many of you are co-owning together
Consider additional protection like insurance and savings options

Who can co-own a home?

Everyone who buys with another person is co-owning a home. Whilst we talk about co-ownership in relation to Mates who match on our website, it also applies to people who know each other- like partners, family members and friends.

Co-owning is the technical term for owning a home with another person, and the same rules should apply regardless of you who you buy with, in terms of how you do so safely.

We consider the use of an agreement as the same as house insurance. You purchase it without the intent to use it but have it available to you just in case. Whether you are buying with someone you have matched with online, or buying with someone you know- use the co-ownership agreement to protect your assets and those of your co-owner.

Use our tips above, and the resources available on our website to safely own a home together.

“Through the use of innovative technological solutions, Mortgage Mates will disrupt the house market, providing all Australians the opportunity to own their own home”.

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