When purchasing any property, it is standard to appoint a conveyancing lawyer who is qualified in all areas of property law and is there to ensure you avoid any potential issues, and to protect your interests at every step of the property purchase. In the case of co-buying, as with any business venture, there are things to consider before you decide to go ahead and it is good practice to have the right paperwork in place to ensure that you and your interests are fully protected in any eventuality.
Think of it like any insurance product: you may never need to claim, but should the need arise, it will protect you.
For more information, please contact us.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROTECT MY INTERESTS?You will need a document, such as a Deed of Trust, which will address any concerns you may have with jointly buying a property. This reduces the risk of buying with someone else by covering all potential outcomes and is aimed at protecting you and your interests.
Speak to your solicitor about any concerns you may have.
WHAT IS A DEED OF TRUST?This is a legal agreement that can be used to specify how a property is held between joint owners and how to proceed in various considered circumstances. There is no limit to the information, clauses or situations outlined in this document so it can be fully customised for your specific circumstances and to ensure that both parties have considered and decided how to proceed in any potential scenario. It can also be referred to as a Declaration of Trust, Declaration of Trust & Co-Habitation, Trust Deed or Co-Ownership Agreement.
WHEN SHOULD I GET A DEED OF TRUST?If you are purchasing with a friend, family or a Step-Ladder member, regardless of whether it’s purely for investment, or to live in as tenants in common, then it is advisable to speak with your solicitor and get a Deed of Trust drawn up. It may not be exactly romantic, but it could spare you a lot of pain if you ever decide to go your separate ways.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A DEED OF TRUST?A Deed of Trust can be fully customised to address and alleviate any concerns you may have, covering all eventualities that may arise when you co-buy and invest jointly. Your solicitor will also advise if there are any other documents you may need to protect your interests.
WHO CAN DRAW UP A DEED OF TRUST?You should consult a solicitor or conveyancing lawyer as this is not an area where a “DIY” approach is recommended.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A DEED OF TRUST?
Typically a Deed of Trust will address the following:
- Amount each party contributed towards the deposit
- What to do if only one party wants to sell, including how the property will be valued and right of first refusal among the owners
- How much each party is going to contribute towards mortgage repayments, purchase and ongoing costs
- Equity split between parties if property is sold or mortgage ends
- What to do if one party wants to move out from living in the property, but remain a co-owner
- How any rental income is divided, how much rent is payable by a resident owner in a “shared ownership” scenario
- What happens if one party fails to make payments
- Dispute resolution – notice periods, mediation etc
- General property rules e.g. use of common areas, payment of bills, whether leasing the property or any part thereof is permitted, guests and visitors, maintenance, inventory etc
- Remember that this document can be customised to address any issues that you may be concerned about.
WHAT IS STEP-LADDER PROFILE VERIFICATION?Step-Ladder has a profile verification system to help you make more informed decisions about who you communicate with. It has been put in place to build trust and to promote and encourage openness and honesty amongst members. We believe that complete anonymity erodes trust and this information may be helpful as you decide who to interact with.
To build the trust amongst members we also recommend that you upload a profile photo that clearly shows your face.
On a member’s profile, the verification will appear as below, where each green tick represents a verified social media account.
Please note that this verification is in no way an endorsement of a member or guarantee of their identity.
HOW DO I VERIFY MY PROFILE?Once you’re logged in, to complete your verification click on the grey “PROFILE” tab in the top right of the page.
Click on Settings, as in the image below. You can then verify your social media accounts.
Please note that we won’t post to any of your social media accounts, nor will links to your accounts be posted on your profile.
How do I search for a property partner?
For our Beta* site, the UK has been broken down to “local city” level, with London searchable by: North London, South London, East London, West London and Central London. See our list of areas here.
You can either do a basic search by entering the area that you are interested in (as you start typing, options will be narrowed down and you can select your area from our list of options):
or an Advanced Search found above the search results:
Click on the pink Advanced Search link to expand your options:
* we’re working on suburb, postcode and map area searches for future releases
Why isn't my search location recognised?There’s a chance that as we have a set list of areas for searching in our Beta* site, that what you’re looking for isn’t in our database. If this is the case, please expand your search area.
Otherwise, the most common reason for this is a misspelt location name. The best way to check it’s correct is to ensure you select a dropdown option from the search box that appears as you start typing the location.
*For our Beta site, the UK has been broken down to “local city” level, with London searchable by: North London, South London, East London, West London and Central London. See our list of areas here. We’re working on suburb, postcode and map area searches for future releases.
How do I search in London?For our Beta site, London has been split into 5 regions and is searchable by:
Central London East London North London South London North London
We’re working on suburb, postcode and map area searches for future releases.
How do I add more than one area to my profile?
Once you have logged into your account, click the grey Profile button (top right of your screen), then Edit.
Start typing the name of the local city that you are interested in and relevant matches will appear in a drop-down box. Using either your mouse or up / down arrow keys, select the city (or segment of London) and press the ENTER key. Then simply repeat for any additional areas you’d like to add to your profile.
Why don’t I get any search results?
Welcome to our Beta site!! As you’ve probably noticed, we’re new and building up our database of members. We could have cheated and bought names, but absolutely didn’t want to fake it. So please bear with us whilst we attract new members.
If your search returns no results, please widen your search area. And look out for Step-Ladder Alerts which will notify you when a new member registers interest in your area.
Also, feel free to tell your friends, family and colleagues about us – the sooner the Step-Ladder member’s base grows, the sooner you can find a partner and buy property together!
Help! I can't log in..As part of joining Step-Ladder, we will send you an email with a link for you to click in order to complete your registration. If you haven’t received this, please check your spam folder.
If you have the correct details and still can’t access the site, please contact us so we can help you.
What if my question still hasn't been answered?Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or feedback or just want to say hello. We look forward to hearing from you!