a see-saw representing unequal shares in a property. Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common with SAM Conveyancing
Do you want to change to Tenants in Common?
We can help whether for tax reasons on a buy to let or because you are breaking up with a joint tenant.

We can have the application with the Land Registry within days and our fees are fixed and competitive.
 
 

How to change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common

07/04/2022
(Last Updated: 20/10/2023)
55,348
9 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Joint Tenants own property equally, which makes it impossible to assign shares. Tenants in Common, however, can own separate beneficial shares in a property (i.e. 30% and 70%) and they can reassign these for different reasons.
  • If necessary, you can sever your tenancy and change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common, at any point in time, with or without consent from the other party.


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.

What's the difference between tenants in common and joint tenants?

The two most common reasons why 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 and tax declaration confirming otherwise.
  • Separation - joint tenants who break up may look to change to tenants in common to better reflect their beneficial interest in the property.
  • Inheritance - the surviving joint tenant(s) own 100% of the property if one joint tenant dies, without paying capital gains or inheritance tax. As tenants in common, you can bequeath your share to a third party.


Sever your joint tenancy and hold the property as tenants in common with a deed.

The deed protects the interests of both parties and provides evidence for tax purposes. We can draft your deed in one to two working days for just £500 Inc VAT.

Once finalised, the solicitor will submit your application to the Land Registry to sever your joint tenancy.



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".

How do I change a joint tenancy to tenants in common?


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) wants to declare unequal beneficial shares in their property for tax purposes.

For example, by changing joint tenants to tenants in common they can declare a 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 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 include 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's
  • 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 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.


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

If you want to know whether you have Joint Tenancy or Tenants in common, you can download your title deeds from the Land Registry. 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.

What is the tenancy in common restriction?

An HM Land Registry 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 (more evidence is required in this case):

    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.


Frequently Asked Questions
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Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
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Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.


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