Adding a partner on title to your house

May 2, 2013 | Cohabitation Agreements,Real Estate Issues

I represented a young man buying his first home in Calgary.  His girlfriend was moving here from Eastern Europe in a few months and he said that he wanted to put her name on title when she came to town.  I told him that this could be done by way of a Transfer of Land from him alone to the two of them but:

  • He alone would be responsible for the mortgage unless the bank agreed to let her assume responsibility for it along with him; and
  • He should consider having an Agreement in place outlining how the equity in the house would be divided if the relationship failed.  Otherwise, his girlfriend might one day make a claim to a considerable share of the equity in the house even if she had not contributed to the payments.

The Agreement would be a Cohabitation/Adult Interdependent Relationship (common-law) Agreement covering such things as:

  • Was she buying into the property and, if so, what were her payments going to be?
  • If things soured, would he get all his equity back or more?
  • Could he offer to buy her out?