If you are aged 17 or over and are planning to live in a property that is being purchased by someone else – perhaps a parent or family member or you are going to be a lodger in someone’s home – you will need to sign an occupier’s consent form. This consent form is also known as an occupier waiver form or a deed of consent. This article will explore some of the legal aspects of signing the consent form and why you should take legal advice before you sign.
What is an occupier waiver form?
The occupier waiver form has to be signed by an adult who is planning to live in a home purchased by somebody else and who is not going to be on the mortgage or on the deeds to the house and will not be living in the house as a tenant. This situation usually occurs when there are adult children still living at home, if you are living with or caring for older relatives or extended family, or if you are living with a girlfriend or boyfriend who you are not buying the home with.
It can also be applicable if you are going to be a lodger in someone’s home to whom you are not related, but only if you are moving in at exactly the same time as they are buying the property.
Why do you need to sign it?
The form needs to be signed because the mortgage lenders need to confirm who will be living in the property and ensure that you, as an occupier but not the owner of the house, will vacate the property if mortgage payments have not been adhered to and repossession needs to take place. When you sign the form, you are waiving any rights you have to carry on living in the property if it is repossessed.
As an adult living in a property, you could claim to have a beneficial interest. This basically means that you have enjoyed the benefits of living in the home. Signing the consent form confirms to the mortgage company that you will not make a legal claim based on the fact you have enjoyed living in the home upon the unfortunate occurrence that the house has to be repossessed.
Why should you obtain legal advice?
It is important to take legal advice before signing the consent form so that you fully understand the implications. Some mortgage lenders will insist that the occupier obtains legal advice before the mortgage is approved. If a solicitor gives you advice, they will provide a certificate signed by you and witnessed by them that can then be given to the lender. This will confirm that you are fully aware of what signing the form means and that the mortgage lender is happy you understand.
Companies such as Sam Conveyancing can help you with legal advice when signing the occupier consent form.
As soon as the potential owner starts the house-buying process, they must let their solicitor or conveyancer know that an adult occupier will also be living in the property. They must also let their mortgage lender know as soon as they start the process of obtaining a mortgage.