Joint Tenancy & Tenants in Common


When you buy a property in the UK, one of the things you will need to consider is the type of property ownership you should choose.

Ownership type is important as it affects what happens to your property if one of the owners dies or if your relationship with a joint owner breaks down.

If you are purchasing a property on your own and your name alone will appear on the title, you will own the property as a sole proprietor.

However, if you are making your purchase with your spouse or partner, with both of you appearing as registered owners, you can choose to own your home as joint tenants or tenants in common.

Joint tenants means both owners will own the whole of the property together. Married couples or those in civil partnership often choose this type of ownership.

If you are joint tenants, you cannot leave your share of the property in your will as it will automatically pass to the other owner on your death. This is known as the ‘right of survivorship’.

Tenants in common is slightly different. In this arrangement you will specify what share each owner has in the property, for example, you could state that you own 50% of the property and your partner owns the remaining 50%.

When a property is held in this way and one of the owners 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.

Both joint tenancies and tenants in common arrangements have pros and cons, depending on your personal circumstances. It is vital that you get good advice from an experienced residential property solicitor before deciding on the best type of ownership for your situation. The manner in which you jointly own your property can also be changed at any point should your circumstances change.

For advice on any residential property matter, email or phone 01782 205000.

You might also be interested in our blog: What happens when one tenant in common dies?