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Holbeach solicitors give advice on joint tenancies and tenancies in common

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In their fortnightly Legal-Ease column, Holbeach solicitors Mossop & Bowser give advice on buying property together...

When purchasing a property with another individual you can choose to own it in one of two ways, as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

Joint Tenants

Owning a property as joint tenants means there is no clear division of who owns how much. Upon the death of one of the property’s owners, the surviving co-owner will automatically obtain the deceased’s share in the property through what is called survivorship. They will then own the whole of the property. When the surviving co-owner dies, then the house will pass on in accordance with that person’s Will.

Tenants in Common

Purchasing as Tenants in Common means each individual owns a different percentage of the property. This is commonly seen in cohabiting couples and businesses, where one party has contributed a significant amount more than their partner or business partner. For example, 85% of the property can be owned by one owner and the remaining 15% by the other. Upon death, that person can leave their share of the property to whoever they choose.

When purchasing as Tenants in Common, a deed called a Declaration of Trust can be drawn. This deed shows that the property is owned in unequal shares and without it, it can be presumed the property is owned equally. Though is it not necessary to have the Declaration of Trust drawn, it’s recommended in order to protect the interests of the individuals living at the property in case of any potential relationship breakdown.

The Declaration of Trust can be drawn to confirm the amounts contributed by each party and how much they should each get back on the event of a sale. Details such as a mortgage can also be reflected within this document too.

If you would like some legal advice, contact Mossop & Bowser on 01406 422651.

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