Housekeeping 101

HouseKeeping 101 - "I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house." Zsa Zsa Gabor. Married 9 times.

Many young singles make bad choices when they get involved in a relationship. Not just bad relationship choices but bad property and finance choices! These choices are often holding them back from achieving financial security. This week I'm focusing on singles and property ownership.

Men and Women
Circumstances would have it that it seems to be women that come off short-changed by these relationships more often then men. Here's what to do if you're a single guy or girl getting involved with the soon-to-be-Ex Prince(ss) Charming.

Tragedy 1
What you don't want to happen is that you sell your place and move in with your other half without sorting out some ownership guidelines. If you do, you might land up paying for the groceries and even the furniture but leave with nothing to show for it in a few years time.

Tragedy 2
The other scenario is where you allow your loving partner to move in with you and not contribute fairly to the upkeep. They get a rent-free place to live and contribute to the beer stock but not much else while living together.

Co-habitation Agreement
In both these instances a co-habitation agreement will help resolve some of these thorny issues further down the line. The agreement should document ownership and payment responsibilities. Even if ownership isn't as clearly cut as a 50/50 split, the agreement will value the current property, payment responsibilities and future resolution of monies if you both part company. The agreement should also cover matters pertaining to insurance, maintenance, alterations and options when selling.

Separate Homes
Ideally both parties should keep their property, renting one out to subsidise the bond repayments and any surplus being allocated towards the current home. The agreement should again take into account these circumstances and make provision for an equitable sharing of the spoils further down the line.

Next Week
This is all in the event that the bond is only registered in a single name. If the happy couple sally forth and purchase a property together, a whole new set of issues arise which I will deal with next week in HouseKeeping 102.

Article by: Dave Welmans - (www.thepropertygame.co.za)