Joint Ownership

Owning a Property in Joint Names

If you are buying a property with one or more other people, you must decide which of two different ways you will be jointly owning the property.

You can decide to own the property as either:

  1. "Joint Tenants" OR
  2. "Tenants in Common"

"Tenant" in this context is NOT the same as someone renting a property. Before deciding which option is best suited to you, please read our breakdown of each below:

Tenants in Common

In this way, each person has a share in the property. That share can be split equally (for example 50/50), or it can be split unequally (for example 75/25). You may choose to unequally split the share in the property if, for example, one person has contributed more towards the home buy than the other person.

This way also allows each person to prepare a Will deciding to leave their share in the property to someone other than the surviving co-owner. For example, leaving the share to children from a previous relationship.

You would need a formal document known as a “Declaration of Trust” in order to register your interests in the property under a Tenancy in Common. We are able to prepare this for you and there is an additional fee for this work.

Joint Tenants

In this way, each person owns the entire property. This means that if one owner were to die, then the surviving owner would own the property entirely. This approach is common for people who want to leave the property to each other after they die and many married people hold their property in this way.

A Will stating otherwise would not be able to override this because the property will have transferred to the survivor before a Will would come into effect. Only the survivor’s Will would then be considered as to who receives a share of the property on their death. This can mean that children from a previous relationship, will not inherit a share of the property, unless the survivor has also included them in their Will.

What decision should you make?

You will need to decide for yourselves which approach is best for you and your circumstances. You will need to make your decision, and provide this to us in writing, before the Exchange of Contracts. We are not able to advise you on any taxation implications relating to the options open to you.