Contractual obligations

When we got to signing the purchase agreement for our new house. I had to get into pitbull mode.
On the purchase agreement SO was listed as buyer and I was listed as wife/partner. Uhm excuse me? Furthermore with the purchase agreement I was going to give him a proxy to make arrangements on my behalf? …………. Yes for those that did not read correctly or misunderstood. According to the purchase agreement, SO was going to be buying a house and wifey was in it somewhere as well. But SO as the head of the household was going to make all decisions. The little blonde was also allowed to have a voice.
Yes according to the purchase agreement, I had gone completely senile and had become nothing but a cute blond accessory when I said ‘I do’ on my wedding day. Is this why we spend money on getting a legally binding pre-nup, to be still considered part of an 18th century, talibanish type ownership deal? I think not! I refuse to sign this ancient sexist document.

Please rewind that. Let us take this from the start. I saw the statement in the contract an immediately called our estate-agent. And told her in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable. I was a full buyer, like SO was, and I was not going to be addressed as the wifey with the clear indication that SO is the head of the household, nor was I going to give him a proxy! I sign for myself. I have earned that money, I am paying half of the mortgage. I sign for myself and I am buyer, period.

Excuse 1. Well it is a standard contract.
Response 1. I don’t care, then the standard is ancient and wrong, and you have to change the standard.
Excuse 2. It does not matter, you still own the house legally 50%.
Response 2. I don’t care, I am a buyer and as such I own the house 50%, not because I happen to be married to the man of my dreams, our marital status is irrelevant for this.
Excuse 3.  Then she said, well then I put you first.
Response 3. That does not change the problem! My SO is not my accessory either. We are two people that buy a house together, jointly our marital status is irrelevant.

In the end she contacted the vendors estate agent, who totally agreed with me. They found it archaic as well. They changed the contract to state buyer 1 and buyer 2 and took the proxy clause out. Now I could sign the contract as it was as it should be.
End of story was that the estate agents agreed that this was rather old-fashioned and the it was time for the NVM (dutch estate-agents agency) to change their templates and attitudes.

But this is just one example as to why I think emancipation still has a long way to go in this country. On the one hand you make it compulsory for men and women to be economically independent (if you are born after 1982) and strive for equality and then you push with these sorts of things the clock back to the dark ages, by making on partner a dependent of the other.
But I won this battle! I am so proud of myself and SO was so 100% in agreement and said so to the estate agent as well. That it made my heart sing to have married such a great man!

To make the matter ever weirder. SO has to sell his current house. HIS house, in HIS name only. According to our pre-nup I have absolutely no claims to it, none, nada, zip! Yet in order to sell it he has to get my signature, because he is married to me. How absolutely bonkers is that!
Of course I will sign if that is a legal requirement, but sheez, it is not my house!


About Gilraen

My blog is simply about my life. I moved countries for the first time in 1993. I lived in the Netherlands, UK and NZ. The initial idea was to keep my overseas friends up-to-date with what was going on in my life. The blog, like me, is always changing and evolving.
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One Response to Contractual obligations

  1. Gilraen says:

    draakje wrote on Apr 24, ’09
    I was suprised by this. I didn’t think we had this problem, otherwise I would have had it changed too. I just checked our contract buying the house. And we were just buyer 1 and 2. Probably things change when All the best with both your new house!

    egeltje wrote on Apr 24, ’09
    We also did not have the problem, but we are also not married, so that probably helps. To be wed is old fashioned…:-) and then you get an old fashioned agreement.
    But I totally feel with you that it is always the men who is addressed in these types of matters. I can also make a fuss of it.

    Congrats with the house!

    gilraensurion wrote on Apr 24, ’09
    I think egeltje is right. It is at least in part due to the fact that we are married. If you are not then it is different. Marriage seems to have this dumbing down effect according to some. It is not all wedded bliss.

    Alternatively more and more estate agents recognized the females walking in as independent and decided it was better to do it this way.

    toyotomi wrote on May 8, ’09, edited on May 8, ’09
    Your real estate agent is full of it. I took a look at the standard agreements of both NVM and LMV (yes, we have them laying around). The NVM agreement is indeed a little old fashioned, as it allows for said construction. However, it does not mandate it. The LMV standard contract is gender neutral.

    As for the sale of your SO’s old house: I don’t know for sure if your signature is required. However, look at it from the buyers perspective. You can state you have a binding prenup, but as a buyer I would not want to be required to study and validate said prenup. I would demand the signature to be sure whether or not the prenup is legal or later invalidated.

    gilraensurion wrote on May 8, ’09, edited on May 8, ’09
    It was an NVM agreement. As for the sale it is to ensure that I am in agreement as even under pre-nup we have a duty of care, hence if I were not in agreement I could say he is not looking after him or something. But even it is not legally binding I guess it is just something to keep their asses clean. I don’t have to sign the sales agreement, but I do have to give permission for the sale as I live here.

    PS I knew I cold count on you for the legal aspects 😉

    toyotomi wrote on May 8, ’09
    To make a fine legal point: you living there has nothing to do with permission. It’s possible to sell a house with somebody living there, eg a tenant. It’s more to assure the buyer you won’t keep living there (at least don’t have a right to do so) after the sale and signing over of the house.

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