Q: I am giving my daughter £100,000 for the deposit on her first home, which she is buying with her boyfriend for £300,000. They are planning to get married eventually. How can I protect my deposit in case they split up? 

A: More and more buyers are receiving financial assistance from the Bank of Mum and Dad when purchasing a property. It is increasingly common for the parents to try to ring-fence their contribution so it will be protected if their child splits from the partner with whom they are buying the home. 

The parents can arrange for a legal charge (akin to a mortgage) to be registered against the property title at the Land Registry. This would detail the amount of the loan and any other agreed terms. The house could not be sold until there was an agreement in place in respect of the removal of the charge, which would inevitably involve repayment of the loaned amount. 

Donall Murphy appears in The Sunday Times Home Experts section answering the Problem of the Week. 

Donall is a partner in the conveyancing team. He advises both buyers and sellers in relation to freehold and leasehold transactions, dealing with many high value properties in prime locations.

The Sunday Times Home Help - 25th Nov.pdf