During lockdown, my daughter and her long-term boyfriend moved into our house. While they were here, her boyfriend spent money refurbishing their bedroom and en-suite bathroom. He also contributed to utilities bills and helped out with the mortgage payments.

I’m worried he may have a financial claim to the property, which he might try and exercise should he and my daughter split up. 

Is there anything we can do to try to prevent arguments regarding ownership of the property arising?

James Carroll answers a reader's question in the Financial Times' property law column regarding the difference between financial contributions to a property and owning part of it. 

Does our daughter's boyfriend have a claim to our house? is available to read via subscription on the Financial Times website or in the print edition of FT Weekend. 

James is a partner in the family team. He specialises in the financial and other consequences of relationship formation or breakdown. 

His principal role is to help people separate sensibly. He is well known for having a commercial, constructive and resolution focused approach combined with the ability to pursue litigation through the courts with tenacity where necessary.

James is considered an expert in complex financial cases, including those involving businesses and trust/tax structures. He has considerable knowledge of pre-nuptial agreements (having sat on the Advisory Group to the Law Commission).