When the relationship is only headed in One Direction.

If you own a house and your partner moves in, what should you do or not do to protect your investment and home?

Take a celebrity couple as an example – the nation’s favourite Cheryl Tweedy and her ex, One Direction star Liam Payne.  They dated, she apparently moved into Liam’s house in Woking, they had a baby then, sadly, they parted company. 

What should Liam have done at the start of the relationship and before their split to avoid Cheryl gaining an interest in his old bachelor pad?

Liam should have made it clear at the start that whilst he was happy for Cheryl to live there, it would not be on the basis that she was then going to acquire a share in the property and it would remain his house.

He should have continued to make the mortgage payments himself and all of the “bricks and mortar” costs, ideally from his own bank account rather than the joint account.  He could have shared the actual personal costs of living, such as the Sainsbury’s bills and the joint holidays, but he should not have accepted any money from Cheryl towards the house, such as the decorating or maybe the added security measures to keep out the paparazzi.

In addition, had Cheryl then said she wanted to build a luxury pool complex to rival even Simon Cowell’s house and was happy to pay for it herself – Liam should not have let her commission this work.  That would be a contribution and would then give her a foot in the door to claim an interest in the property. 

Of course it would have rather dampened the romance for Liam to keep reminding Cheryl that she did not have an interest in his home. But if he was keen to keep his finances separate and avoid litigation later on, then it he needed to set out some hard facts and stick to his script. 

A healthy relationship should be able to cope with such conversations and after all, if a new partner wants to acquire a share in the house, it is not unreasonable to expect them to contribute and then devote the time to sitting down and working out the exact details of joint ownership.

I support the Resolution campaign on awareness of cohabitation rights #ABetterWay

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