Co-ownership Agreement

July 2022 – Do You Need a Property Co-ownership Agreement?

Co-ownership agreements

Co-ownership agreements are a smart move if you are planning to share a property with someone else. There are countless benefits to getting one, and not only married couples can get one. 

But do you really need a Co-ownership Agreements Calgary? In what kind of situation is it best to get one? Sometimes, people will see no real reason to sign a contract such as this, simply because they can’t grasp the importance. 

To better describe the need for a co-ownership agreement, here are some scenarios that many Canadians can connect to.

Married Couples

When we think of co-ownership agreements, the first thing that comes to mind is marriage. It only makes sense, since the nature of a contract such as this is to officialise that multiple people own a property in equal or proportional parts. 

However, many couples assume that the rights and responsibilities towards their home are going to be outlined in their actual nuptial contract, and so they see no need for a co-ownership agreement. Reality says otherwise, though. 

Married couples can benefit from co-ownership agreements in many ways, especially when there is a mortgage involved and they wish to have finances independent from one another. In those agreements, it is possible to outline exactly what portion of the property goes to each partner, and how much money they are putting into their home. 

Things such as renovations, land use and other accessory terms can also be included, but the main point is that the couple can have one extra layer of security when living together. The decision to have a co-ownership agreement is not to be seen as a “preparation for divorce”, but as a validation of trust that takes maturity to finalise.

Unmarried Couples

Similarly to married couples, those who do not wish to officialise their union, or who prefer to live under common law, can only find benefits in settling a co-ownership agreement. 

Because they do not have the same protection as married couples, the partners can, and should, opt to have the agreement when living together. The reasons are pretty much the same, except that now the protection is vital, and not only in case of separation. 

It can be included in the agreement terms with conditionals such as who should pay for bills, who has the mortgage, what can each of the partners do with the land and much more. 

The possibility of separation, however, is still the number one reason why unmarried couples should get a co-ownership agreement, as it saves a lot of time and money in case it happens. No one wants to go through a lengthy and stressful dispute over the ownership of the house, so it is always best to keep it all on paper from the start.

Business Partners

Some would say that sharing a business with someone else is more complicated than marriage, and sometimes it can be true. Fights can arise from situations that couples would never experience, and the end of a partnership can be more devastating. 

Because of the nature of the property, a co-ownership agreement is essential, and lawyers in Calgary will always suggest getting one. In there, the partners can include in the terms not only the ratios of how much of the real estate they own but what they can or cannot do while in the property—and that can change the entire business operation. 

For example, two owners can agree that one may not do any renovations without the approval of the other. In case this happens, they can stipulate a penalty such as a fine. Even more, one partner may be in charge of paying all taxes and taking care of the property’s finances, and failing to do so could result in the loss of a portion of the property. 

By setting up those rules in a co-ownership agreement, business partners can officialise their operations regarding the property and have their company running smoothly afterwards. It helps to create boundaries, rights and responsibilities from the start, putting it all to paper. 

Friends 

It is becoming more common for people to start living with their friends instead of seeking to form a traditional family. It helps with finances, creates a safe space for everyone to share and makes life easier, especially for younger people. 

But just because you are sharing a home with your best friends, it does not mean that you can afford to be reckless when it comes to documentation. Buying or renting a property with other people can always result in disagreements, and it is better to lay everything on the table before you settle into a new life. 

When talking about a group of people sharing a common space, but still having their own independent lives, the first thing that people are concerned about is: what if I want to move out? 

The co-ownership agreement is the main source to answer this question. Friends can include in the terms of the contract conditions in case someone wants to sell their part and move out. Those conditions can be not selling it for under the market price, having the other owners approve the buyer, or simply selling it to the co-owners first. 

The agreement can also help lay out rules for who can have access to the property, if tenants are possible and what can be done in the common areas. 

There are many scenarios that would benefit from co-ownership agreements, and the more you know about them, the easier it is to see how important they are in any kind of relationship, and how they may apply to you. 

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