Product of the month: Co-ownership Agreements


Are you thinking of purchasing real estate with a friend, family member, business partner or significant other? Perhaps you’ve made an old fashioned ‘handshake’ agreement on how the property is to be used, who is to supply the initial down payment and how the property is to be maintained.

You should give careful thought to having a properly-drafted co-ownership agreement to protect your interests.

Unlike joint tenancy (where each party has equal ownership and interest in the property) co-owners (tenants in common) may have different proportions of shares which may translate into different rights and obligations.

As can be expected, when it comes to making decisions about valuable assets like real estate the potential for disagreement among co-owners is often unavoidable and prone to escalation. The stakes are high. Maybe you’re thinking of selling the property for a profit during a housing boom, or maybe your co-owner thinks it’s too early to sell and would like to rent the property instead.

Whatever the case may be, disagreements between co-owners can get out of hand and end up in costly, inconvenient and stressful court proceedings.  

Having your co-ownership prepared by one of the very experienced team at Townsends will provide an important layer of protection and will recognise and preserve your rights as a co-owner.

Some common examples of disagreements between co-owners include things like:

•    disagreement about the circumstance of how the property was jointly acquired;
•    who contributed the most capital at the outset of purchasing the property;
•    who contributed the most mortgage repayments;
•    disagreements on the options of ‘buying out’ your co-owner;
•    who paid insurance, council rates and maintenance costs;
•    who inherits the property should a co-owner pass away;
•    when the property can be sold;
•    how to handle unexpected expenses

…. the list goes on

Ensure the rights and obligations between yourself and your co-owners are transparent and protected by a comprehensive and legally binding agreement.

For further information, please contact Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers on (02) 8296 6222 or email to see how we can assist.