A message to our clients:

With the recent move to allow shops and offices to fully re-open, we will continue to review our policy on clients attending our offices. Currently, we are not inviting clients into the office but we are able to briefly meet with clients by appointment at the door of the office. Please note that face coverings are still required indoors until further notice. We remain committed to following the Government guidelines as rules continue to change in line with the easing of lockdown.

We continue to operate our business as usual across all the services that we offer our clients, both current and prospective.

We continue to offer teleconference-based or telephone consultations.. We are aware that not everyone has been offered full vaccination yet and understand that some people may feel safer continuing with socially distanced communications.

Our family and wills / probate solicitors continue to offer initial advice remotely by video conferencing and by telephone for up to one hour (as advertised on this website). Please call us if you would like to speak to one of our experts.

If you have a case in court, please telephone us so we can discuss representation.

We appreciate your patience, support and understanding over the past year since the restrictions related to the pandemic began. We hope you continue to stay safe, and wish you a brighter 2021!

Talk to a solicitor today 0117 973 1391

The bank of mum and dad is still open and since 2010 there’s been a 14% increase in first-time buyers relying on their families for financial help when purchasing a property.

The desire of young people to own a home is now more of a dream than a reality with the number of 25 – 29 year olds owning a home dropping by more than half, from 63% in 1990 to a current low of 31%.  Even though mortgage interest rates still remain low, they struggle to save the deposit needed, to get on the first rung of the property ladder.  And for those who don’t have parents in a position to offer financial support, the likelihood of owning a property is small.  There’s also an indication from a report produced by the Anglia Ruskin University, that if the economy weakens, the proportion of first-time buyers being supported by their families will continue to be around one-third until 2025 and then this figure is expected to grow to around 40% by 2029.

With more house purchasers reliant on ‘gifted or loaned deposits’ – a sum of money that is given by a family member to form all or part of a deposit for a house purchase – we have seen a rise in this sort of financial arrangement and as part of the legal process we recommend a formal written agreement is drawn up on any ownership rights or repayment plans.  We have a checklist of points that we apply in these situations.

  • Check if the money offered by a third party to enable the purchase of the property is a ‘gift’ or a ‘loan’.
  • The person ‘gifting’ the money should seek independent legal advice to understand they will have no interest in the property and no right to get their money back.
  • The person ‘loaning’ the money should seek independent legal advice to drawn up a repayment plan or consider whether a legal charge over the property is more advantageous. A legal charge over the property allows for the ‘loan’ to be repaid on the sale of the property in the future.
  • Check that the mortgage product won’t change because of the ‘gifted’ or ‘loaned’ deposit.
  • Check to see if the person ‘gifting/loaning’ the money will need to complete a gifted deposit letter – sometimes lenders have their own form to complete.
  • Make sure the person gifting the money has a bank statement or something to confirm where the ‘gifted/loaned’ money is coming from (standard money laundering checks).

For any advice relating to ‘gifted’ or ‘loaned’ deposits, call Battrick Clark’s property law experts on 0117 973 1391.