During the course of a property transaction, you may be asked if anyone else is going to be living in the property with you. An ‘occupier’ is someone aged over the age of 18 whose name is not on the title or mortgage to the property but will be living there with the owner of the property. It is very important to tell your solicitor and mortgage broker about this from the outset of any property transaction as it means there are certain processes that then need to be undertaken. If this information is not passed on it can cause unnecessary delays later on in the process.
An occupier will be asked to sign an ‘occupier’s consent form’, sometimes known as ‘consent to mortgage’ or ‘occupiers waiver form’, this is likely to be a condition of the mortgage and completion will not be permitted to take place until this is signed. The occupier may also be required to take independent legal advice before signing the document, this depends on which mortgage lender you are using and their specific requirements.
The purpose of an occupier’s consent form is to ensure that the person living at the property is fully aware of the rights that the mortgage lender has over the property, and in the worst case scenario, that the occupier would be forced to move out if the mortgage lender had to repossess the property. An occupier can acquire certain rights in a property, even though they do not own it, and this can be an issue for mortgage lenders if the correct process was not followed at the start of the transaction.
Even if obtaining independent legal advice is not a specific requirement of the mortgage lender, it can be a good idea to seek such advice. A solicitor will be able to advise of the benefits and risks of signing the document along the extent of any obligations imposed on the occupier. It is important that everyone involved understands the situation so that there are no issues in the future.
If you have any queries or think this is something we can help you with, please contact our property department who would be delighted to assist.