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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am considering buying a property which is in need of

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I am considering buying a property which is in need of considerable renovation. I will be the sole owner of this property. My boyfriend of about one year is willing to help with the renovations with time and helping to manage the project although all cost will be met by me. He does not live with me and has no capital to invest himself. I would like to know the best way to protect my investment from risk of claim by him. We are not considering marriage but one day may cohabit. Please could you advise me on this matter.
Could you also let me know when it is considered that cohabiting has occurred and would a cohabiting partner have any legal rights to my property and how to safe guard my assets in this situation. The reason for me asking is that my marriage of 30 years ended in divorce and I do not wish to become financially vulnerable again.

Hi, thanks for your question. Cohabitating couples have no right or legal interest to property that is not in their name. However if your partner was able to prove that there was an intention to create a share of the property due to his contribution then he can apply to court for this. It may therefore be helpful to have a formal signed and witnessed agreement that specifically states that your partner is not entitled to a share of the property and there is no intention to create a share for him.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would a formal contract and payment for his service negate the need for and agreement . If this was done in addition to an agreement would this provide me with greater security? Any suggestions to wording of an agreement?
Is there a limit on the number of nights per week that he could stay before it is considered co habiting?
Many thanks

Yes, a formal contract and payment for work can be used to show that intention is only limited to his services and there is no entitlement to the property. The contract should be the same as if you were to have hired a third party to do the work.

In relation to cohabitation, this would be if he treated the property as his home, so there is no limit on number of nights - it will be seen based on the circumstances. But again, cohabitation in itself raises no legal entitlement to the property.