The ideal structures to consider when buying property with a partner

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

I'm acquiring a property with my spouse, or with my partner, or with a sibling, or a family member or a friend. What type of structure do I use? How do I buy this property?

The default position is, most people just acquire property in their own names, which results in untold misery like, if there is a fallout, if the relationship doesn't workout, or if there is a non-contribution towards funding, or there is a death. So, these are the kind of options that are available to you. Most people, as we said, will buy the property in their names with their respective partners, no agreement. So worst case, if you do that, make sure that you have an agreement in place that will regulate contributions toward bond payments.

If you have any maintenance costs; how you address the running of the property, what happens with the income, how do we split it, what happens if somebody passes, do we take out a policy to have funds available to exit the deceased partner? That type of thing. That is your worst case, if you have acquired a property in your name and you can't do anything about it and you cannot restructure it. If you do have the luxury of time, you should do some planning beforehand and then the options available to you are to acquire it either into a partnership of trust, a single trust where all the different parties are involved, setting out your percentages, your roles, your responsibilities, your obligations, or worst case CC, or PTY Limited that is then owned by trust and again, regulated by an agreement.

Again, to ensure that everybody understands, and all the roles, obligations, rights of the various parties are recorded in the various agreements that underpin either the trust or the CC, or the company.

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