The Legal side
Keep it independent
No matter how close you are as a family, it’s always worth getting independent legal advice. Using the solicitor who’s doing your conveyancing means the advice you get will look after your best interests and help you avoid any difficult disagreements in the future.
Agree who pays what for ongoing upkeep
Consider creating a Declaration of Trust or even a Co-Habitation Agreement. This can clearly state how each party will contribute to the bills or ongoing maintenance work, helping avoid any arguments should a big bill suddenly appear.
Don’t be shy
Make sure you talk through all the different problems and scenarios you could encounter while you own the property. For example, if one one of you should die, it’s important to have thought about what will happen to their share of the property, so the other owners aren’t unexpectedly faced with having to sell their home in order to fulfil inheritance demands. Similarly, if one of the family members is in a relationship, what happens if that relationship breaks down?
Agree the annex
3G family living often involves building an annex where the older generation live. If this is your plan, make sure you decide upfront what each person’s contribution to this is going to be and how they will get that money back when you decide to sell. This can all be made clear in a Declaration of Trust.
Consider what happens if in the future one of you wants to move out. Are there options for another owner to buy them out? As part of this you might also want to consider what notice period each owner should be given if one of you decides to sell.
The Life side
It’s all about perspective
If any disputes do happen, keep a level head and look at things from the other person’s perspective. Keep talking and reach a resolution together. Think about what you could you do now to make things easier for the other people in the house? You might find it useful to have a regular time to meet for an informal chat about the house, what projects need doing or what bills need to be paid.
Create a functional family space
3G families tend to be much bigger and noisier than other households. Really think about how you’ll use the space, considering things like how noise will travel to other areas of the house. For example, it’s no good having the kid’s play room next to the grandparents’ bedroom. You may benefit from two or three different living areas that different people can use throughout the day. Consider investing in an interior designer to give you expert advice which may save you headaches in the long term.
Think about how the different generations can have their own spaces in the property and ensure you all respect this by not encroaching, uninvited on their space. This is particularly important when couples are living with other people as it’s natural for them to want some privacy.
Enjoy your time together
You might find that, now you’re living together, you actually spend less quality time together. Make the effort to still do things as a family, whether that’s a day trip, long walks together or sitting down as a family for Sunday lunch.
If you are moving house and need a reliable, approachable and experienced conveyancing solicitor, or simply want to chat about your conveyancing needs, call us on 0808 274 7557 or find your local QualitySolicitors branch here.