When Is An Occupier Consent Form Required?

When moving into a property that is owned by someone else, or someone else is in the process of purchasing, there are many things to consider to ensure everyone is protected legally. There is often a lot of paperwork to work through and sign so that everything is above board.

One of these pieces of paperwork is the occupier consent form. As with all the documents you have to look through, this is extremely important, but what is it? Here we take a look at what it is and when and why it is required.

What is it?

This is a document that declares an occupier’s claim to occupation has been waived or relinquished if they are living on someone else’s property.

Why is this consent form needed?

When someone buys a property, it means they obtain legal ownership of it. They also acquire beneficial ownership. Legal ownership and beneficial ownership are two completely different things.

Legal ownership is when you become the official owner of a house, flat or other property and are responsible for its maintenance. Beneficial ownership means you can enjoy the right to reside or collect an income that is produced by the property.

Due to the way in which beneficial ownership can be obtained in a range of ways, it becomes a matter of concern for mortgage providers if an occupier attempts to claim interest at any point; for example, a friend or relative who moves into a house with the legal owner could potentially state the right of occupation within the property, even if the property is at danger of repossession.

To stop this from occurring, mortgage lenders will require the occupier to relinquish their right to occupation, hence signing an occupier consent form. There is a requirement to seek legal advice before doing so.

When is the consent form required?

An occupier is usually required to sign the form before they move into the property and/or during the purchasing process. Before this happens, an occupier is usually expected to seek legal advice to ensure they fully comprehend the implications of signing the form and that they cannot claim they were pressured to sign the consent form at a later date. An example scenario of when this form is required can be found on the HomeOwners Alliance site.

There is a lot more information out there about what the form entails; therefore, it is fair to say that if you find yourself in this situation, it is always best to research further and to seek legal advice. By doing this, both your rights and the legal owner’s rights will be protected and covered.

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