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The Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement

A co-ownership agreement is a legal agreement between the owners (or prospective owners) of a property that defines how a property will be dealt with if certain situations arise. 

Why is a co-ownership agreement needed?

A co-ownership agreement is highly recommended to clearly define the expectations and obligations of each property owner prior to the property purchase. Once the property is purchased the agreement becomes legally binding and is executed as part of the property settlement process. 

A co-ownership agreement can include the following details: 

  • What the owners are required to do, required to pay and entitled to receive; 
  • How financing arrangements are structured and the owners liability for any loan defaults. This could also include possible remedy loan considerations to help manage any temporary financial difficulty without needing to sell the property;  
  • How the property is to be occupied and managed, including tenancy arrangements; 
  • How, and when owners meet to discuss important matters in relation to the property;  
  • All the processes to undertake any improvements to the property;  
  • Any hardship or sale process agreed that is fair and reasonable; and 
  • How disputes between owners are dealt with efficiently, effectively and most importantly, fairly. 

Without a co-ownership agreement, resolving issues between owners can be a stressful, and costly process.  

What does a Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement cover?  

The standard Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement has been prepared to suit most scenarios where you buy a property with others, whether that’s with your partner, a family member, a friend, or an unrelated buyer you’ve teamed up with.  

Whilst it deals with improvements to the property, if you’ve teamed up with another buyer and you intend to renovate or develop the property then the standard Co-ownership Agreement may not be suitable but Co-operty can help you arrange an agreement suitable for those situations.  

If you’ve teamed up with your spouse and you subsequently separate, the Family Law Act will apply despite a co-ownership agreement being in place and the court will take various things into account.  

Summary of main terms of the Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement 

Whilst all the terms of the standard Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement are important, the following is a summary of some key, critical terms. This summary is general in nature and Co-operty always recommend that you obtain legal advice specific to your circumstances if needed. 

Owners proportionThis reflects the amount each owner is contributing or borrowing to fund the purchase. This is aligned to the proportion of the ownership on the contract for sale or transfer documents. 

NB: if the Property is an investment property then you should obtain independent tax advice from your accountant in relation to how the proportion impacts your tax liability.   
Outgoings  How the owners will cover their portion of property costs such as, but not limited to liabilities, taxes, expenses, rates etc. 
CostsThese are the costs associated with the preparation, negotiation and execution of the Co-ownership Agreement (for purchasing or disposing of) and any other income tax, capital gains tax and any transfer duties (i.e. stamp duty). 
Decision making This section outlines how decisions about property matters will be made, including how voting rights are defined and apportioned and the forums to action any decisions required.  
Disputes An important section, the Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement clearly articulates the dispute resolution mechanisms where there is a dispute between the co-owners. 
Improvements This detailed section defines how owners undertake improvements to the property, allowing for when they all agree, and when they do not.  
Valuations Whether it is a joint agreement, or an independent request, this section defines how valuation are undertaken, how costs are dealt with, and who pays what and in what instance. 
Hardship In the situation of an owner facing financial hardship, such as losing employment, credit card default, or any such material change to their financial position, this section defines how the owners collectively approach communications and potential offers from the other owners should they wish to offer a loan (at reasonable terms) or sell a share. 
Sale With more than one owner, there may be more than one sale situation. The Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement sets out clear terms and processes in the instances of full or partial sale by any or all owners.  
Default What does this mean, and what defines a default for all owners. This section outlines what a default is and how the owners need to resolve such a situation amicably. 

Why lawlab? 

We have partnered with lawlab because they are Australia’s most popular national property and conveyancing law firm who are experts in the complexities of co-ownership. From finalising your co-owned property, to providing legal advice on refining your co-ownership structure, visit to find out why they are Co-operty’s recommended co-ownership legal eagle. 

Whilst the Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement is wide-ranging and comprehensive, lawlab is on hand to provide independent legal advice if you need it.  

Important Information

The information provided on this page is general in nature only and does not constitute legal advice or financial advice. It is no substitute for reading the Co-operty Co-ownership Agreement in full and obtaining independent legal and financial advice on the co-ownership agreement and your specific circumstances.

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