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How to change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common

07/04/2020
Joint owners of property can change their ownership from joint tenants to tenants in common at any time and with or without mutual consent using the Land Registry Form SEV. The process is called a severance of joint tenancy. If you need help changing the title ownership of your property from Joint tenants to tenants in common then call us on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

The two most common reasons our clients look to change from joint tenants to tenants in common are:

  • Tax reasons - joint tenants share income from property 50/50, however as tenants in common they can have an unequal share to allow for tax structuring. It is important to note though that even as tenants in common, HMRC will assume the beneficial interest is shared equally between the legal owners unless there is a deed of trust confirming otherwise. For more information click here
  • Separation - joint tenants who break-up may look to change to tenants in common to better reflect their beneficial interest in the property.

The death of a joint owner may also trigger a need to update the Land Registry's details regarding your property - click to read "Deceased Joint Proprietor (DJP) - How to remove the joint owner from the Land Registry".

Severance of Joint Tenancy by Mutual Agreement

To sever the joint tenancy is how you change from joint tenants to tenants in common. It most commonly occurs when a couple (married or unmarried) want to declare unequal beneficial shares in their property for tax purposes. For example by changing joint tenants to tenants in common they can declare beneficial interest of 100%/0% to utilise one of the beneficial owner's lower tax bracket, instead of sharing the rental income equally. Where the severance is mutually agreeable you can both sign the form and return it. The severance is much harder The process of changing the title ownership is far simpler when there is mutual agreement compared to when there isn't.


  • Local authority service the property - state the local authority where you pay your council tax to
  • Title number(s) of the property - found on the your deeds (downloadable from the Land Registry)
  • Property - the property and any associated land to the one title
  • Application and fee - if you are completing the application you can included your a cheque, or if your conveyancer is handling the change of ownership then they will tick "direct debit, under an agreement with Land Registry".
  • The applicant(s) - Provide the full name(s) of the person(s) applying to enter the restriction. Where a conveyancer lodges the application, this must be the name(s) of the client(s), not the conveyancer
  • Address of the Land Registry - include the address of the Land Registry. HM Land Registry, Citizen Centre, PO Box 74, Gloucester, GL14 9BB
  • Evidence of severance - where both parties mutually agree and sign the Form SEV, box A is ticked which states "All registered proprietors of the title number referred to in panel 2 are applying (no further evidence required)"
  • Application - the application to change from joint tenants to tenants requires for the following restriction to be applied to the Land Registry Title "No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court"
  • Signature - all the applicants must sign this section or if your conveyancer is handling the application for you then they will sign here

    2
    Send the form and supporting documents to HM Land Registry’s Citizen Centre. There is no Land Registry fee to pay if the application is made by mutual consent of the joint tenants.

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How to find out if you are Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

Download your title deeds from the Land Registry and if there is a Form A restriction under Section B: Charges, then you are tenants in common. If the restriction isn't there then you are Joint Tenants. A Form A restriction states:

"No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court."


Severing Joint Tenancy Without Consent

This is most commonly linked to one or other of the joint tenants wishing to change to tenants in common as a result of a disagreement. When severing joint tenancy without consent the Form SEV is still completed, however it is only completed by one of the Joint Tenants, however more evidence is required:

    1
    Serve a written notice confirming the change on the other Joint Tenant (known as a 'Notice of Severance').

    2
    Complete the Land Registry Form SEV - Application to enter Form A restriction on severance of joint tenancy by agreement or notice. You can use the SEV with supporting evidence to change the title ownership to tenants in common without the other Joint Tenant's consent. If you don't have supporting evidence then you will need to complete a Form RX1 to register a ‘form A restriction’.

Evidence of severance when there is no consent

Option B - Application is not by all the registered proprietors – severance is by document signed by all the registered proprietors - This option allows one of the joint tenants to make the application as long as they can evidence they have from the other joint tenant either:

  • The original or a certified copy of the document is enclosed (letter of severance); or
  • the conveyancer certifies they hold the original or a certified copy of the severance document

Option C - Application is not by all the registered proprietors – notice of severance has been served - - This option allows one of the joint tenants to make the application when the other joint tenant hasn't signed the severance document but has been served with it. The evidence required depends on how the severance document was served and the options are:

  • The original or certified copy of the notice of severance and a signed acknowledgement of receipt by the other registered proprietors is enclosed.
  • The original or certified copy of the notice of severance and my certificate is enclosed, confirming that the notice was given to the other registered proprietor(s), left at their last known place of abode or business in the UK or sent by registered post or recorded delivery service to them at their last known place of abode or business and not returned undelivered.
  • I am the applicant’s conveyancer and I certify that I hold the original [or certified copy of] notice of severance with an acknowledgement of receipt signed by the other registered proprietors.
  • I am the applicant’s conveyancer and I certify that I hold the original [or certified copy of] notice of severance, and that it was served on the other registered proprietors in accordance with sections 36(2) and 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925.


    3
    Send the form and supporting documents to HM Land Registry’s Citizen Centre. There is no Land Registry fee to pay if the application is made by mutual consent of the joint tenants.

Do you need help to Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common?

The process can be complex so if you need change the legal title from joint tenants to tenants in common we have specialist solicitors to help. Call 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply) and we'll discuss the process with you or click below to get a quote.

  • Basic Deed of Trust to share income from property in unequal shares (needed for Form 17)
  • Updating the legal title and registering a restriction
  • Handling communications with party who doesn't agree to the changing of ownership

Fixed Fee – Specialist Conveyancing Solicitors - 5 Star Trust Pilot Rating

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