Joint mortgages

A joint mortgage allows two or more people to buy a home together. You can combine your money for the mortgage deposit. All the people named on the mortgage are responsible for the repayments. Failing to keep up to repayments will mean the property is repossessed. 

Most joint mortgages are taken out by couples, whether married, unmarried or civil partners. However, two or more people, other than couples can also take out a mortgage together, for example two friends.

There are a few reasons people may apply for a joint mortgage.

  • You can usually borrow more with a joint mortgage than if you apply on your own
  • Lenders may see you as more reliable with two or more incomes to cover the repayments
  • You might be able to save up for a bigger deposit together

How a joint mortgage works

Getting a joint mortgage mostly follows the same process as if you apply for a mortgage on your own. Everyone who applies needs to agree on the terms, make decisions together, fill in and sign all the relevant forms.

See how much you could borrow with our mortgage calculator, arrange a mortgage Agreement in Principle, then find your dream home. Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you can apply for a mortgage together.

When applying for a joint mortgage, you will have to decide the legal ownership of the property. How you split these can differ.

There are two options:

Joint tenants

All borrowers have equal rights to the home, inherit it if one borrower dies and split profits equally when you sell the property.

Together you act like a single owner, a popular option for couples.

Tenants in common

Everyone owns separate shares in the property, which you split up how you like.

You can sell shares separately and someone else can inherit them if you die. It can be a more common joint mortgage with your parents or friends.

How much can you borrow with a joint mortgage?

Normally you can borrow a lot more with a joint mortgage than if you apply on your own. The lender will look at the income of everyone who applies.

Generally, lenders may let you borrow around four times your annual income. With a joint mortgage, you might be able to borrow up to four times your combined income.

There is also the extra financial stability this offers to a lender. If one of you could technically afford the mortgage repayments alone, you might find it easier to be approved together.

What is a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage?

A joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage is a mortgage taken out with another person who does not have any ownership of the property.

The other person is jointly responsible for the mortgage payments, but not named on the property deeds.

They must meet all the lending criteria for mortgage approval and are liable to cover any payments if you miss them.

Not all lenders offer this kind of mortgage.

Can I get a joint mortgage with friends?

Yes, getting a mortgage with friends is possible with a joint mortgage. Normally you may take out a joint mortgage with one friend, but some lenders allow up to four people to take one out. Everyone is responsible for repaying the mortgage.

There are a few things to consider if you buy a home with a friend.

  • How will you split the property ownership and payments?
  • If one of you loses your job what will happen?
  • What happens if one of you wants to leave the joint mortgage?    

Can you transfer a joint mortgage to one person?

There are many reasons for walking away from a joint mortgage. As a couple you may separate, or if you bought with friends one of them might move out.

The easiest way to split a joint mortgage is to sell the property and divide the money equally between you based on how much you each put in.

If you are looking at buying a partner out of a joint mortgage, it can be more complicated.

  • You can sell one owner's share to the other, switching from a joint to single mortgage
  • This transfer of equity means one person becomes responsible for the mortgage and owns the home
  • You must meet the lender's criteria for the single mortgage
  • If the buyer cannot afford this you may need to extend or remortgage

Transferring a joint mortgage to one person is possible, but how it works depends on your situation. To ensure it is a smooth and fair process it can help to record what everyone put in. For example, if one person paid for most of the deposit, this makes sure they are repaid the money if the home is sold.

The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice. For impartial financial advice, we recommend government bodies like MoneyHelper.

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