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Should the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 affect the rights of creditors?

Partners in a relationship may have debts, such as a television bought on hire purchase or a car paid for by instalments. The debt might belong to one partner individually or to both partners jointly. A mortgage over the family home is a common debt partners have at the end of a relationship.

The law gives creditors rights to recover money they are owed. The general rule is that creditors’ rights are not affected by the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 but there are limited exceptions. We want to hear whether you think the general rule is appropriate.

The main exception to the general rule is that the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 gives a partner an interest in the family home and this has priority over the rights of some creditors. We want to hear what people think about the protected interest in the family home.

Other exceptions to the general rule include:

  1. when a partner registers a notice on the title of land to protect a claim to that land; and
  2. court powers that apply when a person is about to sell or transfer ownership of property, or has already done so.

We want to know whether people think these measures are adequate.

The law also intervenes when partners make an agreement which stops creditors from getting their money back.



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