How to split ownership of a house with girl cuddling her share
Find out how to split ownership of a house and then how to get your share of the property. Whether this is for tax purposes on a buy to let or because you're worried your name is not on the deeds and you should have a split of the ownership.

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How to split ownership of a house

(Last Updated: 18/12/2023)
4 min read
It is important to set out how to split ownership of a house at the point you purchase the property or when anyone pays money toward the property (such as mortgage repayments). What can happen if you don't agree your intentions for splitting ownership is that you are faced with earning less money or have a lengthy legal battle to get what you are due.

Like with a car, a house has legal owners and beneficial owners. The legal owners are registered at the Land Registry and they hold the property on trust for the beneficial owners - the co-owners who get the income generated from the property in proportion to their split in the property.

How do I know if I own a share of the property?

As a general rule, if you have contributed money towards the property, then you own a split of the ownership unless it is stated in writing otherwise. Example of such payments are:

  • Purchase price of the property
  • Mortgage repayments
  • Repairs and Renovations

If someone pays money towards the property, whether they are named on the title deeds or not, then the legal owners hold the property on trust for the beneficial owners. It is known as a Constructive Trust.

I don't know how to split ownership of a house

Where you are a joint owner of a property, you can work out how to split ownership of a house by:

    Deed of Trust. A deed is known as an Express Trust and means that you have stated what your ownership of the property is. It is not up for debate.

    TR1 Form. The TR1 is a type of deed that is signed by the joint owners when you purchase the property or on transfer. Within this document, the joint owners confirm how they will share the beneficial interest on the title:

  • they are to hold the property on trust for themselves as joint tenants - this means the beneficial interest is held 100% jointly (no separate shares) so your split is an equal share.
  • they are to hold the property on trust for themselves as tenants in common, in equal shares - as it is stated here, your split of the house is equal shares with the co-owners.
  • they are to hold the property on trust - this is the section that is filled in if you have a deed of trust (as above)

    Written or Oral Agreement. You can put your intentions for the property in writing. This could be an email, letter or oral. The latter is harder to prove.

    No agreement. Even with no agreement, you can prove you have a beneficial split through evidencing paying money towards the property. The only issue here is that the legal costs for proving this interest can be considerable.

Are you facing a property dispute?

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How do you get paid your split in the house?

Once you've worked out how to split ownership of a house, you then need to agree how to get paid your share. It can be one of 2 ways:

    You agree to sell the property.

The challenge arises when either the co-owner can't afford to buy out your share in the house or the co-owner doesn't want to sell the property. If this is the case, you can look to force the sale through the court. You may get an award to sell if the property was an investment (buy to let), however, if your intention for the property was for it to be a marital or family home, then you may not get the order to sell. Read more - Can I force the sale of a jointly owned property?

Frequently Asked Questions
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
Reviewed by:

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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