Buying or Selling a Home/Lease agreement


Hi there, I'm a first-time home buyer I've gotten all the way through the approval process and I'm beginning to look with a realtor. The question I have is this. I got with my girlfriend a little less than a year ago. She has agreed to pay half of the mortgage on the new house even though the mortgage is solely in my name. Now lets say 2,3,4 years down the road the relationship goes south and she wants "her half of the house" back? I've talked to her about signing a lease agreement and she said ok. But even with a lease agreement would she have any recourse? Is this legal? Is there anything else I could do to protect my investment? Hopefully we live happily ever after and this situation never arises, but I like to be prepared for anything. Especially with an investment this large. I know if we ended up getting married all bets are off then, but I dont see that happening anytime soon. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me on this matter.


1) House Ownership:  This is who owns the house.  The Deed reflects all the owners.  The MORTGAGE reflects all the borrowers.

There are many different ways to do house ownership.  I bought my house before I was married, and as such, I was the only person on the DEED and the MORTGAGE.  Getting married doesn't change that.

2) LEASE: A lease is for someone who is a TENANT.  Tenants do not own property.  They pay rent for a place to  stay.  The fact that the money then goes to pay a mortgage doesn't change the ownership structure.

If you don't get married, then she has no claim to the house.  Even if you do, until the deed is updated, her claim is limited in many states (I am not an attorney in any state) You should, of course, explain how things work,  sooner rather than later.  There should be no misconceptions about ownership.


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Matt Heisler


I can answer questions about buying or selling your home, and questions about the market in Massachusetts, with detailed answers if you ask about my specific area in Mass, Metrowest. I can help with Investment property and the basics of financing. How to construct deals and how to find bargains and how to protect capital. Land, home sales, rehabs, fix and flips, income property are places where I could be able to assist you. I can also answer basic questions about foreclosure, short-sales, 1031 exchanges, and basic questions about how the economy and credit markets are functioning and how that affects you.


My company sells residential real estate in Metrowest, and we have had a been selling real estate in the area for 20 years. My Blog can be read at Real Estate Sales in Massachusetts

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