When you are looking to buy a property in Dubai, there are many different mortgage options you could take, and you should ask your broker as many questions as you feel is necessary to find the right option. One question we get asked by some expats is “Can a married person get a mortgage without their spouse in Dubai?
In the UK, a married person can get a mortgage separately, but banks prefer both individuals to be on the mortgage application. Because the process is looked into by UK banks with some degree of hesitation, it’s not uncommon for expats to think it is the same here in Dubai.
This blog will explain if a married person can get a mortgage without their spouse in Dubai, why you might want to go down this route, and what the potential repercussions are.
Can You Get a Mortgage Without Your Spouse?
Long-term planning is essential. If — for any reason — you do not want your spouse on your mortgage application, you do not have to include them. What’s important, though, is understanding why you do not want your spouse’s name to appear on the application.
There is a misconception that a co-applicant has to provide proof of income to be considered for a mortgage. This, however, is not true. A co-applicant does not have to show proof of income in the UAE, and they do not need to even be in employment.
As long as you — the main applicant — can show you are capable of making the mortgage payments by yourself, that is the key for lenders in Dubai. So, if you want to leave your spouse from the application for this reason, rest assured that you do not have to.
What are the Benefits of Getting a Mortgage Without a Spouse?
Sometimes, a one-person mortgage is the better option all-round. Benefits of getting a mortgage without your spouse can include
Better Mortgage Rates
If your spouse’s credit score isn’t as high as yours, it could affect your mortgage rate. However, going with just the strongest credit score may end up saving you thousands of dirhams over the course of your mortgage. This is because only your finances are being called into question. And provided there’s nothing adverse in your credit history, you may find it easier to get a better rate with more suitable terms and conditions.
We have written a full guide on how to get approved for a mortgage with more information.
We can’t help who we fall in love with, but if your spouse has a poor credit background, it may end up costing you your property. By purchasing a house in your name only, it creates greater protection from creditors.
Buying a house with money that you had before marrying your partner also helps. If your spouse had nothing to do with the purchase in any form, it can’t be taken away from you.
However, it is worth noting that if your spouse falls into debt after you are married, this level of protection may not apply.
Divorce & Children From Previous Relationships
Your property is just that; yours. If your partner won’t be contributing financially to the property, leaving their name off the mortgage will provide you with better protection in the event of divorce.
Proof you were the one to make all the mortgage repayments will be key, though, so make sure to keep track of all your finances.
Having just your name on the mortgage can also help secure the property for your children. If you have children from a previous relationship and you want them to inherit the house, you will need proof that the property is 100% yours to give away.
What Happens to My Property if Something Happens to Me?
The wider UAE operates under Sharia Law. This means any committed acts that are seen as unholy in the Islamic faith can result in strict punishments. While Dubai is much more relaxed about Sharia Law, you should still be aware of how this affects your property.
If you are male and the sole applicant on a mortgage, your wife may be caught up in a legal loophole when it comes to inheriting your property. Under Sharia Law, a male’s estate isn’t inherited by his wife, but by his closest male relatives.
In the event of your passing, your closest living male relative and wife would have to go through the conveyancing process to ensure she takes legal control of the property. This can result in further costs, unnecessary stress for your grieving wife, and your relative would have to be on board with signing over the property.
With your wife’s name also on the mortgage application, she would at least keep 50% of the property (providing she is an equal joint applicant). Though the best course of action to ensure your spouse inherits the entire property is to ask your mortgage broker to assist you in getting a specific, non-Islamic will drawn up and approved by the DIFC Wills & Probate Registry.
The DIFC Wills & Probate Registry
The DIFC Courts Wills Service is an initiative set up to grant non-muslims who live in Dubai or invest in its property market the option to pass their assets on as they would under UK law.
Put simply, if you want to ensure your wife inherits the property fully, you will need this service.
Need Some Advice Before Proceeding with a Mortgage?
There are some benefits to leaving your partner’s name off the mortgage application, but each person is different. While the positives will outweigh the negatives for certain British expats in Dubai, you need to consider your circumstances first.
Expat Mortgage was set up to make buying a property easier for expatriates. If there’s any part of the mortgage application process you don’t understand, our mortgage brokers are on hand to help.
Make sure to get in touch for impartial advice today.