Her name or our Names

Here we go:- My Partner and I are buying a property as most of you know, hopefully to be completed in the next few weeks. Now the house will be in her name, the reason we did this, is because we are not married and we thought it would be simple this way
So first question is:- is this a mistake and should we ask for my name to be added to the purchase or just leave it hers??

Before you ask why don’t you get married? Is not one we have ruled out its just not happened.

My Local Gov pension is declared Dave, good luck with the move :+1:

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if you are living (domiciled) in France then all income, revenue, retirement etc has to be declared

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I would get some professional advice about the house. I’ve no experience of two people paying jointly for one person to own a house but I discovered that the situation where one person was paying for two unmarried people to buy a house jointly highlighted a few problems.
You will continue to be taxed in the U.K. on your military pension but will need to declare it in France. You will not need to complete a tax return until thevApril/May in the year after you become resident.

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Hi Dave. I know of couples, where one has died and the other has missed out completely… really traumatic stuff at a time when one is already in distress.

However, no situation fits all folk … and there are all sorts of reasons and ways hither and thither of sorting things out…

Talk with a good Notaire, who can organize things at point of purchase, provided he understands what you wish to achieve…


Good point…i could be left high and dry…omg I feel a marriage coming along


:hugs: Oh, you romantic fool…:relaxed::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

POSSIBLY time to get a new hat Stella

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Roughly, which area of France are you buying in…??

Ruffec, Charente, 16700

lovely part… good for you.:relaxed:

we opted for the marriage route.

get your name on the paperwork as it does not have to be owned by a married couple. it ensures that you hold a part of it or she holds a part of it in death.

Its more complicated unmarried though.


Who is paying for it? If she is, then I would advise her not to put your name on it, if you paid for it I would say the same to you; if shared then OK.

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Particularly if there are children from either side involved…
You can also purchase en-tontine. The effect of this is that whoever dies first, the property goes to the other as if the deceased hadn’t first had an interest. This is important as far as inheritance issues go.


Thank you Graham, I have just read up on that subject and I think its the way we will go for now. However Stella you will still need to get a new hat :slight_smile:

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I’ve got quite a collection already, but always glad to have an excuse for a new one…:relaxed:

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David you really need to see a notaire but, I was married to a French man, the property was in both our names and he fell ill. We were advised that even if the property was legally in both names if we weren’t married there would be a serious issue as to my entitlement, even though it was my money that paid for the property out of my own bank account. Needless to say we got married Sadly my husband died just under two years later but even with the marriage certificate there have been issues. You really need solid legal advice. Best of luck, Paulette


David my husband and I just completed our house purchase in the Charente. We did the Tontine thing, and also were advised by our English speaking Notaire, to make a WILL invoking the law of our country of birth (if that is what you wish) which will leave the home to the surviving partner (in our case NZ law 50/50 ) in the case of the other dying. You should also include in your will anything that you want to do with the house/estate should you both die. Remember that there are Death Duties (taxes) on the property and your estate, in France, so you should work out what you want to do with the property so that your heirs aren’t unnecessarily burdened. As happens, we have bequeathed our property to a charity, who then get to sell the property and pocket the money, thereby avoiding death duties and the problem of selling the property et al. Our kids would not thank us for leaving them a house in France (they are either in the USA or NZ) and then they have to dispose of it (could take years) and pay for anything in the meantime. DO ask an English Speaking Notaire, unless your French is good!

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Hello David,

Here is a cautionary tale which happened to a friend of mine, whose relationship status was akin to yours. He and his partner (a an unmarried and unpacsed couple) had agreed to purchase a house (needing renovation) in France together, to be put into joint names. After they had confirmed this to the estate agent, in writing, she persuaded him that it would be better purchased in her name, giving him plausible-sounding reasons as to why this would be better. In love with her, and believing that she was as besotted with him, he agreed, and the Notaire was duly informed. The purchase was subsequently contracted and concluded in her sole name - the purchase price being declared as paid by her.

He moved into the house (she staying in her existing accommodation until he had made it habitable for them both), and being a builder and skilled craftsman immeditely set about the renovation, putting in many hundreds of working hours and paying for the materials much the same amount as the house had cost to buy. She acknowledged in writing this contribution by him. However, before the renovation work had been fully completed, but at a very advanced stage, they fell out, and never lived in the property together. Neither were they ever reconciled.

Having burned his accommodation bridges elsewhere, he stayed on in the property, but slowed down considerably on the building works.

After some time, she applied, through avocats, to a court, claiming possession of the property and rent for the period during which he had been in occupation thereof. Her lawyers gave no credit for the works he had carried out, nor for the monies he had expended thereon. The court found in her favour. On his avocats’ advice, my friend appealed that decision. Sadly, the appeal court upheld it.

It seems there is no equivalent of the British “palimoney” concept under French law. So be warned.

Therefore you would be well-advised to be a joint purchaser, under whatever regime a French Notaire may advise you is most appropriate to your joint circumstances.

So please think twice before proceeding on the present c ourse. An alternative might be to have a Notaire prepare a legally enforceable binding agreement, signed by you and your partner, to be attached to the acte de vente ensuring that you will have the same rights in the property as if it had been purchased in your joint names.

Or get validly married or pacsed before the acte de vente!

Bonne chance.



Marriage doesn’t make a huge difference but it does drag things out more, you get out what you put in. I would put something in joint names only if both are paying for it, and if both contribute then that needs to be made clear - and I wish someone had told me this before I bought my house here.