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Buying out partners

Two of my partners with shares in our practice premises have retired leaving three partners with premises shares plus two new partners who will not be buying in for at least a year. Meanwhile the remaining property-owning partners are taking out interest-only loans to buy out the retired GPs, but the lender insists that, as these loans are to the partnership, all the current partners should be signatories, and therefore liable, regardless of their property-owning status. We receive notional rent on our property. Is the bank correct? Should the new GPs contribute to the interest payments on the loans or the mortgage interest payments?

The way in which the lender is approaching this is fundamentally wrong. It has made the mistake of treating the additional funding as a partnership loan.

In fact it should be treated as a property loan, secured against the title to the property and signed only by the remaining owners.

If there is any suggestion that non-owning partners are treated as being liable for the repayment of a loan in respect of the premises it opens the door to them claiming to have an interest in the property.

Anything to do with the property should be shown separately in the partnership accounts.

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