What is a minute of agreement?
A minute of agreement is a written document created by two or more people that sets out the terms the parties have agreed to. Once the document is registered, the provisions can be relied on in Scottish courts if any disputes arise in the future. They can also be registered in other parts of the UK and Europe, giving them the same legal effect there. You don’t have to go to court to create a minute of agreement; your solicitor can assist with drafting and witnessing the document.
Is a minute of agreement legally binding?
Provided the document is registered in the Books of Council and Session, a minute of agreement will be legally binding. A lawyer can help you with the registration process. Ask a lawyer for more information.
What are the benefits of a minute of agreement?
The main benefits of using a minute of agreement are the protection and peace of mind it provides. If your relationship with the other owner(s) breaks down, everyone involved will want to know their financial contributions are protected. A minute of agreement provides this security, ensuring that all parties are treated fairly should the property be sold.
Why use a minute of agreement rather than jointly registering in the Land Register?
There are plenty of situations where it makes more sense to draw up a minute of agreement, as this can offer a more accurate reflection of who owns what share in the property. If two or more people register in the Land Register of Scotland as the owners of a property they’re seen to own an equal share. In many situations, however, this won’t be the case.
Sarah is ready to buy her first flat and applies for a mortgage. Her parents help her by providing the money required for the deposit on the agreement that she will repay them when she sells the property in the future. Sarah will be the registered owner of the property but by entering into a minute of agreement, her parents’ contribution can be recognised and protected in the future.
David and Liz are buying a house together. Liz is providing 70% of the money required to make the purchase. While they intend to jointly register as owners in the Land Register, a minute of agreement can be used to show that Liz owns a greater share of the property. If they sell in the future, Liz can rely on this document to show that she is entitled to a larger share of any profit.