There are a number of reasons why couples may opt to remain unmarried despite undertaking reciprocal obligations towards each other that are similar to those in marriage relationships. The reasons are various, from estate planning, career considerations, religious reasons, family relations to the lure of independence as an individual.
At the end of the day, our law generally does not confer marriage consequences to couples that are unmarried. This is an important aspect to take note of as there is widespread belief that couples who have stayed too long together are seen by the law as married whereas they are in fact not.
Of particular interest is where unmarried couples intend to purchase property together through a mortgage. This brief article will advise on how that can be achieved.
The most important element of such a transaction is the presence of a binding agreement that will provide confidence to the lender that the unmarried couple are committed to servicing the bond repayment together. This is because where one can afford to secure a bond on their own, they will do so. The most prevalent reason why parties apply for a bond jointly is to boost affordability when assessments are done to determine repayment possibility and creditworthiness. Nevertheless, some still apply for a joint bond to enjoy joint ownership with their spouse or partner even though they could afford on their own.
Such an agreement is called a Cohabitation Agreement or Domestic Partnership Agreement, and needs to be executed in front of a Notary Public. Others may opt for a Life Partnership Agreement which is slightly different but still retains the same use and purpose.
A Cohabitation Agreement spells out the reciprocal domestic obligations of the parties, financial obligations as well as the ownership status of the assets. In such agreement then, the parties must spell out what their consensus is with regards to the repayment of the joint bond, ownership of the bond and property as well as what happens in the event the relationship dissolves. The lender will then go through the agreement and conduct financial assessments on the parties and make its decision.
It therefore is possible for unmarried couples to have a joint bond together, provided that they provide an assurance to confer confidence to the lender that they are committed to servicing the debt repayment together.
Within our division is Phoenix Bonds which specialises in bond origination and bridge financing. They assist home buyers find the best deals from lenders.
Further as Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated, our Conveyancing Department assists with property transfer and registration of Title Deeds amongst a host of other specialist services.
We further assist with a wide array of contracts from Commercial Contracts, Lease Agreements as well as Offers to Purchase amongst others. Our Litigation Department is manned by lawyers who have extensive experience in Contract Law. Our approach is comprehensive and professional.
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The information and material published on this website is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make every effort to ensure that the content is updated regularly and to offer the most current and accurate information. Please consult one of our lawyers on any specific legal problem or matter. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage, whether direct or consequential, which may arise from reliance on the information contained in these pages.
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