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Change from tenants in common to joint tenants

You often change from tenants in common to joint tenants when your relationship changes with someone you jointly own property with; most commonly a husband and wife on a buy to let for tax purposes. The change in title ownership allows the joint owners to benefit from owning the property jointly together. To change from tenants in common to joint tenants occurs less often but normally happens when a couple get married and want to share the family home equally together as joint tenants. In the article below we run through the process of how to change the title at the Land Registry, the risks and how to change it back to tenants in common.

Do you need help to change to joint tenants?

We can handle this all for you making sure the Land Registry is updated quickly and with no fuss.

  • Fast service - completion within days not weeks
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How do you change from tenants in common to joint tenants?

The process is complex, especially if there is a deed such as a deed of trust or deed of assignment. The following is the process your solicitor will follow:

    Instruct a Specialist Solicitor
Getting specialist help to change the title ownership of your property is important as the restriction will always need a restriction to be removed which will require advice about the implications for doing so. You will also need to complete a deed of trust to confirm the sacrifice of the individual owner's share of the beneficial interest to jointly owned.
    Complete a Land Registry Form RX3
You can Download a Form RX3 here. This form is sent to the Land Registry to cancel the restriction on the title held by the legal owners.
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    Complete a Land Registry Form ST5
This is a Statement of truth of an application to cancel a Form A restriction. You can Download a Form ST5 here.

    Draft a Deed of Trust
You will need a solicitor to draft a deed of trust to confirm the tenants in common now agree to share the beneficial interest as a whole under the normal joint tenancy rules.

What Supporting documents are needed?

You must include one of the following:

  • an original or certified copy of the new or updated trust deed signed by all the owners
  • a certified copy of a transfer showing that all owners with individual shares of the property have transferred these to all the beneficial joint tenants
  • a certificate from your conveyancer confirming that all owners with shares of the property have signed a new trust deed

    Send documents to Land Registry
Your solicitor will send these forms to the Land Registry along with any payment required.

    (if applicable) Change tax position at HMRC
If the property was a rental property and the joint owners are married and both legal owners then you will need to inform HMRC with an updated Form 17.

What are the risks of owning the property as joint tenants?

Changing the beneficial ownership changes how each joint owner benefits from any future gain in the property, such as proceeds on sale or rental income.

For example: Jane and John own a rental property. For tax purposes Jane owned 99% of the beneficial interest and John 1% as tenants in common and shared the rental income in that fashion. Jane and John now want to change from tenants in common to joint tenants. This means that they both own the property 100% which, in effect, gives John 49% of the property. If in the future Jane and John break up, John would own 50% and Jane 50%. If Jane wanted to dispute this she may struggle to do so in a TOLATA claim.

Tenants In Common to Joint Tenants

What happens if you change the title ownership without the other joint owner's consent?

Because changing the beneficial ownership from tenants in common to joint tenants could take away a benefit from one of the joint owners then the Form RX3 states:

"If you dishonestly enter information or make a statement that you know is, or might be, untrue or misleading, and intend by doing so to make a gain for yourself or another person, or to cause loss or the risk of loss to another person, you may commit the offence of fraud under section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006, the maximum penalty for which is 10 years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine, or both"

Can you change your own title?

The challenge is, as always, getting it wrong so whilst you can do it yourself the RX3 form states:

"Failure to complete this form with proper care may result in a loss of protection under the Land Registration Act 2002 if, as a result, a mistake is made in the register"

It is best to leave changing the beneficial ownership of property to a qualified solicitor.

Do you need help to change to joint tenants?

We can help:

  • Fast service - completion within days not weeks
  • Fixed low cost
  • Specialist solicitor

* Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Mortgage Lender Panels
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Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common