Property Ownership : Joint Tenants Or Tenants In Common?
Buying a property is one of the most important steps that many of us will ever take. If you are buying a property with someone else, you will need to consider how you should own the property ie. Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.
There are a number of key moments in the process of owning a property with another person when the basis of your ownership of the property will make a big difference, for example when the property is sold, if one of the co-owner dies or if the relationship of the owners of the property comes to an end.
The key characteristic of a Joint Tenancy is that you will own the property equally with whoever you are buying it with. Even if the parties involved have made an unequal contribution towards the purchase of the property in financial terms, eg. if one person has covered 90% of the costs/deposit, each party will still only own 50% of the property. If you are Joint Tenants, in the event of the death of one of you, the property automatically passes to the surviving person. This is known as the “right of survivorship”.
When you buy a property as Tenants in Common, it is possible to specify what share each owner has in the property. When the owners hold a property as Tenants in Common, and one of them dies, their share passes to whoever they have named in their Will as the recipient of their share, rather than passing automatically to the other co-owner. Tenants in Common owners should therefore prepare a Will at the same time as completing their purchase of a property.
For further information please contact Susannah Taylor.
This article is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide specific legal advice. It should not be relied upon in the absence of specific advice given in relation to particular circumstances.