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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12072
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My daughter lives with her partner in rented accommodation,

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My daughter lives with her partner in rented accommodation, and has been in this relationship for 5 years. They are not married and are not in a civil partnership.
If I were to give my daughter the funds to buy a home which would be in her sole name,what, if any claim, would her partner have on this property were they to separate at a later date.
They both live in Scotland.
Thank you for your question.
He has no claim on the house but if he makes a substantial contribution to the relationship as a result of which he is "financially disadvantaged" he could seek a capital payment from your daughter. For example , if she has paid for the house and it's in her name and he were to pay for a conservatory, technically she would own the conservatory so he would be financially disadvantaged were they to separate so he would have a claim for recompense.
This would either be under common law (unjust enrichment) or statute (1986 Act section 28).
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I understand the scenario you described but could he claim to be " financially disadvantaged" by simply sharing the general household expenses ? if:-

(a) these expenses excluded any element of repaying the house loan from me.

(b)the general household expenses included the repayments of the house loan from me.

(c)In the event of my daughter ceasing work to start a family and her partner was the sole breadwinner would that constitute him being " financially disadvantaged" in the event of any separation.

How is the term "substantial contribution" defined in law ie would it include any or all of the positions outlined at (a) - (c) above.


Repayment of the loan on the family home in whole or in part would be a situation where he could claim to be financially disadvantaged as he is paying towards a loan for a property which he has no title to. Offset against that would be the fact that he would presumably have to pay rent or a mortgage elsewhere for accommodation if he was not living in this property.
There is no formula but if you read section 28 there is a balance to be struck between financial disadvantage and that being offset by other factors. The case of Gow v Grant which you can get on the Suoreme Court website is an example of judicial application of the section but every case is looked at individually.
If your daughter gave ip work and he was the sole earner then the argument for financial disadvantage is enhanced. If you follow it through if he pays the whole loan off and then they separate and he has no claim for recompense, is that fair. It is doubtful that it is.
They may want to address this in advance and enter into a cohabitation agreement.
Substantial contribution would mean "more than an incidental contribution". Again it would be defined with regard to the specifics of the particular case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your response.

Finally, can I confirm from your previous answers, that If I gifted the full amount to my daughter for her to buy a house, in her own name, and there was no element of that money being repaid


there was no significant period whereby my daughter was not working ie being supported by him


there was no " substantial contribution " of the type you described above


the only contribution made by my daughter and her partner jointly was for other general house hold expenses/ maintenance/repairs etc that would normally be incurred in maintaining any property


it would be unlikely that he could claim that he had been "financially disadvantaged" in the event of any future separation.


From your narrative that would seem to be the case.
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