Cohabitees do not have the same 'automatic' protection in law as to their property rights as those who have either entered into marriage or become registered civil partners. A party is not automatically entitled to anything that is owned or registered in their partner’s name. This is a complex area of law where the outcome is very much dependant on Trust Law as applied to the facts of the particular case.
It is always open to cohabitees to enter into a contract known as a Cohabitation Agreement which will regulate way the parties manage their finances both during the period of cohabitation and on separation. It is an important requirement of any agreement that both parties receive separate and independent legal advice prior to entering into the agreement.