Living Together Agreements – what can we learn from Sheldon Cooper?

Posted by Laura Bennett on

I am sometimes alarmed by how often I am able to reference Channel 4 programme 'The Big Bang Theory' in my daily and work life. This may be due, in no small part, to the fact my husband bears more than a passing physical resemblance to Sheldon Cooper, but it often occurs to me that the 'roommate agreement' entered into by the central characters, is in essence a Living Together Agreement, designed to avoid conflict in the event of disagreements.

It is becoming more common, for young people to purchase their first property with a friend or sibling. In these situations, a Living Together Agreement can be invaluable. Whilst it is unlikely that a legal professional would encourage their clients to include a 'Superhero clause' (If one friend gets super powers, he will name the other one as his sidekick) or a 'Takeaway clause' ('the selection of a new take out restaurant requires public hearings and sixty day consultation period) as included in Sheldon's 'Roommate Agreement', a Living Together Agreement which stipulated what is to happen if one person wants to sell their share in the property or have a partner move in could be invaluable in preventing future disagreements.

I would advise anyone considering purchasing a property, with a friend or family member, to consider entering into such an agreement. The legal cost of preparing such an agreement is nothing, compared to the potential cost of litigation in the event of future disagreement, and of course very few friendships or relationships survive the strain of litigation. Such an agreement should be considered as akin to an 'insurance policy', you buy home insurance in the hope that you never need to use it, but you are always glad it is there when it is needed.

Please see our guide to Living Together Agreements for further details.

About the Author

Photograph of Laura Bennett

Laura is a Senior Solicitor in the Family team based in Oxford.

Laura Bennett
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