If you own your own home, and your partner has been living with you, there may come a point when you want to add your partner onto the mortgage with you.
If your partner has been contributing to the household bills or giving you money towards the mortgage payments, it may seem like the sensible move to get them added onto the mortgage – especially if you are in a long-term relationship.
Adding someone onto an existing mortgage shouldn’t be a problem. However it isn’t just as straightforward as adding their name onto the mortgage and property deeds.
How do I add my partner onto the mortgage?
You will need to apply to your current mortgage provider to have your partners name added to your mortgage. As you were when you applied for the mortgage, they will be subject to the standard checks such as income and affordability.
If the the lender’s criteria isn’t met, then they are under no obligation to add your partner.
Don’t be surprised either if your lender charges you an administration fee to make the changes. This is in the same way a car insurance provider would if you made changes to your vehicle part way through the policy.
Also, adding a partner to a mortgage is a legal process. You’ll need to instruct the services of a solicitor. Bear this in mind when considering what costs are involved.
Can we move to a different lender?
Another solution to this would be remortgaging to another lender. This would be classed as a new application so you could apply in joint names. Again, as this is a new mortgage application you’ll both need to pass the credit and affordability checks.
As long as you aren’t tied into your current mortgage, and facing hefty exit fees then this may be a good option. You may even be able to obtain a better rate by switching to another provider.
Things to watch out for
If you are considering adding your partner onto the mortgage then it’s certainly worth checking their credit history before doing so. It may not be the most romantic thing to discuss, however it could prevent a lot of heartache in the future.
With a joint mortgage, or a joint bank account, your partner’s credit will become associated with your own. If their credit rating is poor, it may be difficult to remortgage or gain credit in the future.
If adding a partner onto the mortgage it’s always worth seeking legal advice before doing so. There are a couple of options you can choose from when adding someone to a mortgage.
Tenants in Common
This is generally more common when friends or siblings own property together, rather than those who are romantically involved. In this situation, the couples involved typically own a percentage of the property. It doesn’t have to be 50/50. In the event of the property being sold, the equity would be split depending on the percentage rights.
If one party dies, the remaining part of the property would pass to the owner’s next of kin or named beneficiary. It would not automatically pass to the other tenant-in-common.
Joint tenants is the most common option. Both parties would have equal rights to the entire property. In the event of a death, the property would be passed on to the other owner.
Based on the above, it’s important to make sure that you change any wills you have made in order to keep them up to date.
The above post does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. The information within this article is the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or So Smart Money.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.