Thursday, 20 September 2018
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The Law Society - http://www.lawsociety.org.uk

Solicitors Regulation Authority - http://www.sra.org.uk

Land registry - http://www.landregistry.gov.uk

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IT Services - http://www.woodstockit.co.uk


Legal Tips

Jointly Owned Property

If you already own a property jointly, intend to purchase a property in or transfer a property into joint names, you should be aware that under English Law there are two capacities in which two or more individuals may own a property;  one is as joint tenants and the other is as tenants-in-common.  These terms have nothing to do with the relationship of Landlord and Tenant and they apply whenever there is a joint ownership of either freehold or leasehold property.  It is very important that you should carefully consider the implications of each capacity and decide which is the appropriate for your circumstances:

Joint Tenants

Where two or more people hold property as joint tenants, their financial shares are not defined and they are each deemed to be entitled to the whole interest in the property.  Furthermore, on the death of one joint tenant the whole interest in the property is automatically transferred to the survivor entirely regardless of the provisions of the Will of the dying person or of any other rule of law.


Where two or more people hold property as tenants-in-common they do so in defined shares which may or may not be equal.  On the death of one of them the property is not automatically transferred to the survivor but will pass in accordance with the deceased’s person’s Will or if none, in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.  Therefore the survivor may or may not inherit the deceased’s person’s share.  In the case of tenancies in common it is advisable for the respective shares of the joint owners to be recorded in a Declaration of Trust.  This document can also record any agreement about liability for outgoings and the arrangements to apply if one owner wishes to dispose of his or her interest.

To determine what is appropriate must depend entirely upon your particular circumstances.  I will be happy to advise further if you would like me to do so.  In any event, please do remember that while it is appropriate for everyone to make a Will, it is particularly important in the case of property being held by tenants-in-common.