Declaration of Ownership2022-11-24T14:31:49+00:00

Declaration of Ownership

Also known as a Declaration of Trust

There may be various reasons why co-owners choose to separate their shares in the property.

This may be for the simple reason that one co-owner is putting in more money than the other to the purchase of the property and wants to ensure that they receive those funds back in the event of a sale.

Alternatively, one party may be paying more in terms of mortgage and bills as ongoing costs and may therefore wish to state that they own a greater share in the property than the other party.

Living together

The relationship between the co-owners will often dictate how the equity is divided. For example, friends or business partners will likely want to specify their shares in the property so that they can ensure this is left to their own family members on their death.

In order to document these shares co-owners should enter into a Declaration of Ownership.

What is a Declaration of Ownership?

A Declaration of Ownership is a contract between co-owners that clearly sets out the parties’ intentions at the time of the purchase.

If a dispute ever arose in the future the Court would use the Declaration of Ownership as the starting point and there would need to be strong evidence to show that the position outlined had since been varied.

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Declaration of Trust Solicitor
Will writing is important when you buy a property

The importance of having a Will

When you buy a property jointly with another party it is important at the outset to think about how you would want the equity in the property to be split between you.

Not only will this have an effect on how your ownership will need to be registered, but this can also avoid difficult conversations and costly litigation down the line.

If you do not want to own the equity in the property equally, or you wish to leave your equity to someone other than your co-owner on your death, then you must hold the property as tenants in common.

By holding the property as tenants in common you can each specify your share in the equity and on your death, this will pass in accordance with the terms of your Will. It is therefore vital to also ensure that your Will is up to date.

Find out more information


from £250plus VAT
  • Record percentage split


from £300plus VAT
  • Record percentage split
  • Record a fixed fee return


from £500plus VAT
  • Record percentage split
  • Record a fixed fee return
  • Return on investment (interest) and/or return of costs such as mortgage repayments and improvements

What you can expect when instructing Attwells Solicitors

What is excluded from the service?

  • The advice can only be given if acting for one party otherwise instructions will be taken on drafting the only basis.

  • If there is an existing charge over the property, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) could be payable. Please speak with us to understand if this will affect you. Even if there is no SDLT to pay, an SDLT return may need to be filed with HMRC and there is a cost of £75 + VAT to deal with this.

  • Legal advice outside of the service requested.

What are the disbursements for a Declaration of Trust?

We will need to get an up-to-date copy of the title for a fee of £3 from Land Registry and, if there is no property transaction alongside the Declaration of Ownership, there will be a fee of £20 to register this with Land Registry.

Disbursements are payable before we incur the cost.

How long will a Declaration of Ownership take?

We can provide a draft of your document within 7 days of receiving your instructions and funds on account, although this can often be sooner.  If you have any specific timescales you need to work towards, please let us know.

What should I expect?

  1. We will ask you to confirm your instructions in writing
  2. We will take the fees upfront
  3. We will obtain a copy of the title for the property
  4. We will send you a draft for approval
  5. We will arrange for you to execute the deed and, when ready for this to be registered against the title of the property
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Laura Harrington-Rutterford
Laura Harrington-RutterfordPartner
I am a Partner at Attwells Solicitors. I head up the Private Client department, offering legal support regarding Wills, Probate and other personal law matters.

Day-to-day I discuss with clients the best legal course of action for them and their family during what can be extremely emotional times.

I qualified as a solicitor with the firm in 2007 and was invited to become a Partner in 2011.

Declaration of Ownership Articles

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