Many young people are finding it hard to get on the property ladder due to high house prices. One possible solution is for friends to pool resources and buy together. There are however factors that you should take into account, otherwise this arrangement could end in tears.

Five things to consider before buying a house with your friends

• Are the deposit, mortgage payments and other outgoings being paid equally? What happens to a person's share if they die? You should state in a declaration of trust what shares the property is owned in and how any proceeds of sale are split.

• One day a co-owner may want to move on and take their money out. Should the property be sold at that point? Do the other co-owners have the right to buy out the departing owner and if so, on what terms?

• All mortgage liabilities are "joint and several". This means that if the co-owners fall out and one leaves, or if one loses their job and can't pay, the other co-owners are liable to pay all the mortgage.

• If a co-owner wants to leave to buy another property on their own or with a partner, they will no longer be considered a first time buyer and more Stamp Duty Land Tax may be payable.

• If the co-owner can afford to buy another property without having to dispose of their interest in the co-owned property they already own, they will have to pay an extra three per cent Stamp Duty Land Tax on the whole purchase price. This extra tax was designed to penalise buy-to-let landlords and owners of holiday homes but can catch out normal house buyers.

Generally, buying a home with other people can be fraught with difficulty. Appropriate legal and financial advice should be taken before committing.

  • David Marsden is a partner in the commercial property team at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford