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How can we protect our share of a property if we split up?

What legal measures do I need to consider in the event of a split, if I buy a property with my partner? We are not married. 

If you are looking to buy a property with a partner, it is wise to do some research beforehand

 If you are looking to buy a property with a partner, it is wise to do some research beforehand

Myra Butterworth, MailOnline Property expert replies: If you are looking to buy a property with a partner, it is wise to do some research beforehand to ensure that you are financially protected in the event of a split further down the line.

There are steps you can take to ensure that you are not made homeless should a split occur, with perhaps the most important of these being making sure that you are registered at the Land Registry.

We speak to a legal expert about your options and how to set things up legally before embarking on buying a property with someone.

Stephen Gold, ex-judge and author, explains: Much more important than winning the argument over whether the bedroom walls should be painted pink or black with white stripes is getting yourself registered at the Land Registry as a joint proprietor: effectively, having your name on the deeds.

The reason for this is that, should your relationship break down, the law will treat you differently than someone coming out of a failed marriage or civil partnership.

 For cohabitees breaking up, the law is rubbish

For them, the law says that whatever is owned – whether in the name of just one of the parties or in the names of them both – should be divided fairly.

For cohabitees breaking up, the law is rubbish. But with you down as a joint owner, the profit – and, hopefully, not the loss – on a future sale will be paid out according to how much of the property you own.

Since I was in nappies, they have been talking about treating separating couples in a similar way to separating spouses – and, more recently, civil partners – but it has never happened. I am prepared to wager my law books that the law will change. Alas, not yet.

What if you put in unequal amounts? 

When the property is transferred to you both, the documentation will indicate the shares you each own.

If, as is most common, you own as ‘joint tenants’ this will almost certainly result in an equal split.

However, the documentation may specify different shares – particularly where one party has come up with most, if not all, of the cash being put down, or will be paying the lion’s share of the outgoings, including the mortgage instalments.

Then, the documentation will say that you own as ‘tenants in common’ and specify the shares.

Couples often decide that when the property comes to be sold, they should each have the cash deposit they put in returned to them and that, after deduction of the mortgage and the sale expenses, the balance should be equally divided.

On the other hand, there is no legal objection to one party having a one-half interest in the entire profit on sale, despite the fact that they have not made a cash contribution or contributed towards the mortgage. A test of how true is the love of the party with the dosh.

The law does recognise that a couple’s intentions about the shares in the home that they own may change over the course of time.

In a Supreme Court case, cohabitees bought an Essex property for £30,000 in 1985 on the basis they were 50/50 owners. 

Thirteen years later it was worth £245,000. By then the couple had separated with the woman staying in the house and looking after the parties’ two children and paying all outgoings. 

It was ruled that the parties’ intentions about shares was presumed to have changed with the woman’s interest having risen to 90 per cent.

As a joint owner, the profit - and, hopefully, not the loss - on a future sale will be paid out according to how much of the property you own

As a joint owner, the profit – and, hopefully, not the loss – on a future sale will be paid out according to how much of the property you own

Beware lies that one party may peddle 

‘You’re going through a divorce right now. I won’t put your name on the deeds as this could mess up the financial case between you and your hubby.’ 

Or ‘as you’re not yet 21, you’ll have to stay off the deeds for the time being.’ And even ‘the building society say that the flat must be in my sole name as you’re not working.’

These are the sort of lies that one party may peddle to the other as an excuse for keeping their name off the deeds.

Stephen Gold is a retired judge and author

Stephen Gold is a retired judge and author

Courts have been known to treat them as the truth, and so use them as evidence that the liar actually intended the other party to have an interest in the property.

So you see, the fact that your name has been left off the deeds does not mean that you cannot successfully claim an interest in the property. 

You would need to prove that you both intended you should have an interest – there was an agreement or understanding between you to this effect which could even have come about some time after the purchase – and that you acted to your detriment in the reasonable belief that you were acquiring this interest. It is known as a constructive trust claim.

A financial contribution towards the purchase price or repayment mortgage instalments, or carrying out or bearing the cost of substantial improvements would be good evidence of an intention that you should have an interest and of you acting to your detriment.

Get it in writing

There is nothing to legally prevent your partner adding you as a joint owner even when you were originally left out.

‘You have been abusing me for years. I’m off unless you make me a joint owner in the house now.’ I’ve heard of that one more than once. A share in the property can be transferred over, although the mortgage lender’s consent will probably be required.

Alternatively, your partner can sign a document – a ‘declaration of trust’ is what all the best lawyers call it – in which they make it clear that they now regard you as a joint owner and the amount of your share.

Best to have a lawyer deal with it and the step to be taken at the Land Registry, to ensure they cannot surreptitiously sell or mortgage the property while you are out doing the shopping.

Should the property go into joint names, the couple may want to have a trust deed drawn up which dictates a variety of things such as how they will contribute towards the mortgage, and what would be the impact on their share in the event of them financing major works of improvement.

Proprietary estoppel

Yes, it does sound painful but it could be pleasurable. This is the title of another legal argument that can be put forward when you are off the deeds.

You can score here if able to prove that your partner made a promise to you about the property – commonly, it’s that you could live there for as long as you wanted – which you relied on to your substantial detriment and that your partner has acted in a morally unacceptable way.

For example, take Mr T, who was cautious and guarded. He told Mrs B that he was against marriage but that she and her two young daughters would always have a home and be secure in the Droitwich house he was buying in his sole name.

On the strength of that she gave up her tenancy in Manchester, shelled out around £4,000 towards the new house and she and the girls moved in.

Around nine years later, the relationship was over and she and the girls were homeless. Mr T had broken his promise, which was unconscionable. She was awarded £28,500 reflecting what the money she had put into Droitwich and Manchester was worth when her case was heard.

When there are children

If you have children under 18 by your partner and you are their carer, you will want a roof over all your heads. But say you are not on the deeds and none of the delightful arguments I have mentioned are available to you, what then?

A court application can be made under schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989. Your partner could at least be ordered to make the home available for occupation by you and the children, with your partner out of it, while the children are completing their education – up to first degree – or make available another property they may own, for the same purpose.

You will find more on financially protecting yourself before and during cohabitation from the standpoint of both parties, plus making a claim against the estate of a partner who has died without making provision for the survivor in my book ‘The Return of Breaking Law’.

Stephen Gold is an ex-judge and author of ‘The Return of Breaking Law’ published by Bath Publishing. For more on service charges, go to 

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Bouclé popularised by Coco Chanel is back in fashion in the home

Comfort zone: A bouclé and rattan chair, £695 (

Comfort zone: A bouclé and rattan chair, £695 (

Fashion in clothing is one of the key influences for the way we dress our homes. 

The process is usually rapid, with a trend making the transition into décor within a season, as has happened this year with 1970s chic.

But bouclé — which was invented in the 19th century and popularised by Coco Chanel in the 1930s — is only now stepping into the limelight.

This fabric’s name derives from the French boucle (curled) — and it’s racing up the decor style charts, thanks to a new appreciation of its qualities, principally its teddy-bear like feel.

Bouclé is woven from yarn made up of looped fibres of either acrylic, cotton, linen, silk or wool. This gives it an uneven ‘nubby’ appearance, akin to tweed but much softer.

This texture is the reason Chanel chose bouclé for her iconic cardigan-like jacket that was easy to wear, unlike the restricting garments of the era.

The jacket stays in the collection today, even as big names in homeware introduce sofas and chairs with bouclé upholstery.

Now at the Heal’s store in London’s Tottenham Court Road, one of the first pieces that you see is the inviting Nuvola sofa covered in an off-white bouclé ( 

This sofa, which is all curves and no sharp edges, takes its name from nuvoloso, the Italian for cloudy, and it is the rise of this style of reassuring and sink-into seating that is boosting the ascent of bouclé.

Its pleasingly reassuring quality led to the creation of the most celebrated item of bouclé furniture: the Womb chair made in 1948 by Eero Saarinen, the Finnish-American architect for the designer and architect Florence Knoll Bassett.

This bouclé upholstered bucket chair, in which sitting down is likened to lowering yourself into ‘a basket of pillows’, is on sale today at a price of about £1,500.

Such is the ease promised by bouclé that it rivals the appeal of velvet, which was until recently the upholstery favourite.

Helena Davies, head of buying at Barker and Stonehouse, says: ‘We’ve seen a sharp increase in consumers searching for bouclé upholstery, with a 258 per cent jump since the start of the year in comparison with other more classic options like velvet.’

Barker and Stonehouse’s bouclé sofas include the Lenor (£1,599) whose padded design is influenced by stratocumulus clouds (

The Lenor comes in ivory. While bouclé is available in many shades, creams and beiges are surprisingly popular because advances in textile technology have made these tones far more practical than before.

Nicky Line, chief product officer at Loaf bed and sofa group, says: ‘We’re launching our Wobbly Cotton bouclé range in August — it will be a brilliant way for our customers to introduce texture into the home. 

‘We’ve made it ‘clever’, so it’s spill-resistant and family-friendly as possible.’ Line argues that bouclé’s blend of what she calls ‘texture, tactility and touch’ embodies the touchy-feely qualities that people want now.

A bouclé sofa is a sizeable investment in this trend, but such is the demand for the fabric that homeware retailers are providing a large range of items in the fabric.

An accent chair will add a contemporary touch to a traditional country-type interior, while softening industrial chic furniture which can now seem a little too edgy.

Habitat has the £160 Cole chair (, while John Lewis offers the Anyday Dime Accent chair (£349) in light wood. This is inspired by the seating of the Art Deco period, another key trend of 2023 (

If you suspect that even stain-resistant bouclé would not survive in your household, Dunelm’s Kit accent chair in dark grey bouclé has been reduced by 50 per cent to £99 (

At Dusk, you will find bouclé cushion covers in black and off-white starting at £8 for the 30cm by 50cm size ( B&M has bouclé cushions at £12 for two ( Swoon has the £239 Billie midcentury-style bouclé footstool (

The warm response to bouclé has been seen as proof of a longing for the cosy, which means that more sheepskin pieces, either real or faux, will be appearing in the shops.

If a sheepskin throw gives any chair a more relaxing feel, then what could be more laid-back than a sheepskin chair.

During the spring decor shows, one of the standout items was Eikund’s Fluffy lounge chair with sloping wooden armrests and upholstered with shaggy black or white sheepskin.

Would such a chair sit well alongside a bouclé sofa? Yes, because this year your sitting room is, first and foremost, an ultra-comfort zone.

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Tragic Train Derailments in India: Over 240 Lives Lost and Hundreds Trapped in Wreckage

By Satish Sharma | Contributor ‘Voice of EU’

Two passenger trains in India met with a devastating accident, resulting in a death toll of at least 240 individuals and leaving hundreds more trapped inside severely damaged coaches.

The incident occurred approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northwest of New Delhi, the capital city. Rescue efforts are underway, with around 700 injured individuals already taken to nearby hospitals for urgent medical attention. The cause of the derailment is currently under investigation, as authorities work tirelessly to determine the factors that led to this catastrophic event.

Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde, the leading administrator in the Balasore district, confirmed the death toll and expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy. The extent of the devastation prompted an immediate response, with nearly 500 police officers, rescue workers, and medical personnel deployed to the scene. These brave individuals, equipped with 75 ambulances and buses, are diligently working to extricate approximately 200 individuals who remain trapped inside the wreckage.

According to Amitabh Sharma, a spokesperson for the railroad ministry, the derailment involved 10 to 12 coaches from one train, causing debris from the mangled coaches to spill onto an adjacent track. Tragically, another passenger train traveling in the opposite direction collided with the fallen wreckage. As a result, up to three coaches from the second train also derailed, exacerbating the scope of the disaster.

Initial reports indicate that the derailed train, known as the Coromandel Express, was en route from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The news of this horrific incident reached Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed his distress and offered his condolences to the affected families. In a tweet, he assured that all possible assistance is being extended, having already discussed the matter with the railway minister.

While the Indian government has taken measures to enhance rail safety, accidents continue to occur frequently on the vast railway network, which is the largest under a single management worldwide. India’s railways carry millions of passengers daily, covering an extensive network of 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles). Despite ongoing efforts to modernize infrastructure and equipment, many accidents are attributed to human error or outdated signaling systems.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced in ensuring the safety of India’s railway system. As rescue operations persist, the nation mourns the loss of lives and hopes for the swift recovery of those injured. The investigation into the causes of the derailment will play a crucial role in preventing similar incidents in the future.

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Making Technology Consulting More Accessible To SMEs

By Clint Bailey – Editor ‘Voice of EU’

Vibertron Founder & CEO Raza H. Qadri. Credits: Vibertron Consulting

Vibertron Consulting, based in California, emerged on the scene just a year ago, as a subsidiary of Vibertron, and is rapidly gaining momentum as the preferred integrated technology and strategic consultancy platform in the United States and beyond.

At the helm of Vibertron Consulting is Raza H. Qadri (Ali), a highly accomplished individual with a diverse range of qualifications. With an MBA, a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering, and a third degree in Computer Science, Qadri firmly believes in the importance of formal education as a cornerstone for building a robust and sustainable business.

Having amassed valuable experience across various industries including engineering, media, finance, and technology, as well as successfully founding three startups, Qadri is now putting his theories into practice. He has established a global business-to-business (B2B) remote work platform that offers integrated technology, marketing, and sales consultancy solutions specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses.

Credits: Vibertron Technologies

With his expertise and a strong background in multiple fields, Qadri aims to empower businesses by providing comprehensive solutions tailored to their specific needs. The integrated approach of Vibertron Consulting allows clients to leverage technology, strategic marketing, and sales expertise to expand their operations and drive growth.

“An integrated platform is more of a complex business and go-to-market challenge rather than a technical one” Qadri explained, a Pakistani Canadian who moved to Canada 22 years ago.

“There are complexities associated with technical scale and optimization, but with today’s technology we can build a diverse platform using pre-existing components such as integrated services, even though the new technology trend is shifting back to data centre-based digital architecture.”

A Blend Between Marketplace & Integrated Managed Solutions

Founded in 2019, Vibertron presents itself as a hybrid technology company, providing clients with the opportunity to acquire comprehensive remote work, and consulting solutions. Facilitated by an internal database comprising approximately 1,500 thoroughly vetted specialists from the marketing, sales, and technology consulting industries, Vibertron ensures a high level of expertise and professionalism among its professionals. Notably, the specialists within the database possess a minimum requirement of a Master’s degree or 5-7 years of work experience in their respective fields. This stringent selection process ensures that clients can confidently engage with skilled professionals who possess the necessary qualifications and industry knowledge to deliver exceptional results.

“At Vibertron, we pride ourselves on working with top-tier professionals who exemplify integrity and professionalism. We prioritize building a team that upholds these values and ensures a positive client experience. Trust and excellence are at the core of our interactions, guaranteeing that our clients receive exceptional service every step of the way.” Qadri explained.

“To achieve this, we have created a B2B platform that is a blend between a marketplace and a managed professional solutions with two distinct models – one for one-time service buyers and one for clients looking for managed 360° marketing, sales, and technology solutions.”

Keeping It Simple

As stated on Vibertron’s official website, clients seeking integrated technology, marketing, and sales consultancy services can choose from three distinct plans: MCiHT™ (Technology), MCiM™ (Marketing), and MCiS (Sales). Each plan offers tailored solutions to cater to the specific needs and requirements of businesses in these domains.


“In addition to essential features like a social feed, messaging capabilities, and secure payment infrastructure (currently leveraging Stripe and Bank of America), Vibertron recognizes the importance of embracing emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain. By integrating these cutting-edge technologies, we aim to enhance our platform and deliver innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our clients.” Qadri said.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Hybrid Consulting Model

In line with its core objective, Vibertron is strategically preparing to implement an AI-based hybrid co-pilot. This advanced technology will assist clients in acquiring integrated solutions and conducting thorough due diligence. By leveraging blockchain technology, Vibertron aims to validate project credentials, enabling clients to confidently engage with top-tier professionals who possess a proven track record of successfully delivering similar work. Throughout the entire process, Vibertron remains fully committed to supporting clients every step of the way, ensuring a seamless and reliable experience.

“Our ultimate objective is to enhance trust within the consulting industry, recognizing the significant value consultants bring in accelerating progress. However, we have observed numerous distortions arising from market inefficiencies, resulting in a widespread lack of confidence in the role of consultants. By addressing these challenges and fostering transparency and reliability, we aim to rebuild trust and establish consultants as valuable assets for achieving business goals.” Qadri explained.

“We firmly believe that an improved consulting industry, potentially operating on a smaller scale, has the potential to serve as an economic engine, fostering accelerated growth within the global economy. By addressing the challenges and enhancing the efficiency of the consulting sector, we can create a conducive environment for rapid economic advancement on a global scale.”

A Unique Niche Between Consulting & Remote Working

Vibertron Consulting adopts a distinctive business model in which internal Project Managers, acting as Client liaisons, oversee and manage the complete technology, marketing, and sales operations of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These dedicated Project Managers provide real-time monitoring of teams and deliver the utmost level of consulting service in their respective domains, ensuring that businesses receive exceptional support and guidance.

“We have developed our business suites with SMBs in mind. Consider the expenses and commitment involved in hiring full-time staff for technology or marketing roles. We have revolutionized this dynamic by offering business solutions that cost less than employing even a single full-time professional in these fields. This is a key factor that attracts SMB owners to choose our services for managing their entire technology, marketing, or sales operations. Furthermore, our team comprises highly skilled professionals, and the scope of our services is unmatched by any standard, adding to our appeal in the market.” Qadri added.

Sustainable Growth

Presently, Vibertron operates in Europe, the UK, and the US and is actively engaged in securing seed funding for the consulting segment. Furthermore, the company intends to expand its products and workforce in the US, aiming to hire ten new employees by the end of this year, effectively doubling its team size.

Since its inception, the startup has experienced significant growth, progressing from a team of two to fourteen individuals, successfully completing over 650 projects. Additionally, Vibertron has served 75 LCE clients seeking consulting services in the domains of technology, marketing, and sales. Embracing the age-old adage that “cash is king,” Qadri, a staunch proponent, emphasizes the importance of generating revenue at the earliest stages of the business, fostering sustainability and facilitating further development.

“By prioritizing revenue generation, we aim to deliver enhanced value to customers, provide a better quality of life to our employees, and enable investors to recognize the long-term viability and sustainability of our business model.” he said.

“In the current business landscape, startups driven by growth objectives must adhere to fundamental principles such as maintaining healthy cash flow, establishing stable operational and burn rates, and relying on revenue-backed valuations. These foundational principles serve as crucial guidelines for us towards ensuring the long-term viability and success.”

Funding & Growth

Qadri added, “While securing funding remains an ongoing process for us, as it does for many startups, our position as a profitable business enables us to effectively navigate the transitional period between being considered “too early” and reaching the ideal stage of development. This financial stability provides us with the necessary resilience and flexibility to sustain growth and seize opportunities as they arise.”.

Photo credits: Vibertron.
Clint Bailey a Senior News Editor at ‘Voice of EU’ as well as co-editor of EU-20 magazine. Have a tip? Send him a DM at

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