Can I get security when I lend money to my partner to refurb her house?

It’s a reasonably large sum and as she plans to sell I want to get my money back

Q I moved in with my partner last year and would like to lend her money to refurbish the house (there is no mortgage on the property) so it can be sold. As it is a reasonably large sum, I would like some sort of security, but I am struggling to find out how to do this. I have been told I can put a charge on the property so it can’t be sold without me knowing and a promissory note for the amount.

However, the solicitors I have spoken to (and there have been many) have not been helpful and have informed me that a promissory note is not legally binding and there can’t be a charge on the property as there is no mortgage. They can’t offer me a solution so I don’t know what to do and it’s frustrating. I do not want interest to be paid on the loan but would like security. Could you please advise on how I can do this?

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