Joint Tenancy Definition

16/08/2017
Joint tenancy (joint tenants) is where two people jointly own a property 100% together with undivided right to keep or dispose of it. It is a legal state for two people which comes into being when they become married or civil partners and buy a home together. Click here to find out how to change from joint tenants to tenants in common.

Joint Tenancy vs Tenants in Common - Pros & Cons

Read more about the pros and cons of buying as joint tenants or tenants in common.


There is one other way to jointly own a property under English & Wales law and this is called tenants in common. As tenants in common you can jointly own with a maximum of 4 legal owners and it is your intention to own a property separately to each other as an investment. The most common joint owner of property to buy as joint tenants are married couples. The reason being is that they view all of their purchases as a singular thing so they don't want to differentiate it into separate shares.

FAQS about buying as joint tenants

Joint tenants or tenants in common how to find out

If you do not know if you purchased the property as joint tenants of tenants in common then you can download your title deeds from the Land Registry by clicking here. If you purchased as tenantrs in common it will state:

"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."

I've been going out with my partner for 3 years, should we buy as joint tenants or tenants in common?

The decision of how you hold the property is chosen by you and the joint owner. With this said, you would normally not buy the property as joint tenants until you are married or are in a longer term relationship. The reason for this is that until you get married, the laws in England and Wales offer very little (if any) protection and as such you should protect both of your individual interests and reflect these separately to each using a deed of trust and buying as tenants in common. You can read more about what a deed of trust can protect by clicking here.

Do you need a Joint Tenancy Agreement

It is helpful to have a Joint Tenancy Agreement if your relationship breakdown, however you must first change the title ownership from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common. We can help with:

  • Changing title ownership from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common
  • Drafting deed of trust for sharing property income
  • Dispute resolution for agreeing income on sale or transfer

* Specialist Joint Ownership Solicitors - Fixed Fees - Fast Turnarounds


Fixed Fee, No Sale No Fee with a 5 out of 5 rating

 

With a joint tenancy, what rights to a property do both parties have?

You hold equal rights to the whole of a property you share ownership of as joint tenants. The shares in the property are 50/50, i.e. equal and cannot be otherwise.

When a property is sold as joint tenants, what happens?

When joint tenants both agree to sell a property, they divide the proceeds of the sale entirely equally. If a joint tenant passes their claim on a property to a new owner, the new owner has a tenancy in common and the joint tenancy is broken.

If one of the joint tenants dies, what happens?

If you die as a joint tenant, the property automatically and entirely passes to the other joint tenant. In legal terms, this is called 'right of survivorship'. The surviving joint tenant becomes the sole owner.

If I die, can I pass on my ownership to anyone other than the other joint tenant?

No because you don't own a separate share of the property. If you want to do this then you need to buy as tenants in common and then state in your will who you'd like your share of the property to go to.

Can one joint tenant keep their share of a property safe from receivers in the event of the other joint tenant going bankrupt?

No. As joint tenants you are jointly and severally liable for each other's debts. This means that receivers can claim assets right up to and including the entire property's value.

I am a joint tenant. Can I become a tenant in common?

Yes - there is technically no fee to do this but paying a small sum for appropriate expertise may save you time.

Want to know more, including how you can protect your individual property rights as tenants in common? Call 0333 344 3234 Local call charges apply) or email us at help@samconveyancing.co.uk

Do you need a Joint Tenancy Agreement

It is helpful to have a Joint Tenancy Agreement if your relationship breakdown, however you must first change the title ownership from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common. We can help with:

  • Changing title ownership from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common
  • Drafting deed of trust for sharing property income
  • Dispute resolution for agreeing income on sale or transfer

* Specialist Joint Ownership Solicitors - Fixed Fees - Fast Turnarounds

Related News Articles

 
Basic Deed of Trust
14/07/2018
Tenants In Common Definition
19/10/2017
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