How to Own A Joint Property


Precise Mortgages explain the difference between owning a property on a Joint Tenancy basis compared to Tenants in Common.

If you’re buying a property as a home to live in as a couple, or a buy to let investment with a business partner, it’s essential to choose the right type of joint ownership that reflects the situation. The type of ownership affects what a customer can do with a property if the relationship with a joint owner breaks down or if one of the owners dies.

Many people assume a property will automatically go to their partner in the event of their death, or they’ve got equal rights to a property in the event of a divorce. However, this is not necessarily the case, which is why carefully consideration should be given to the type of ownership that best suits personal circumstances and the relationship with their fellow buyers.

So which ownership type is right? Understanding the differences between the types of ownership is key and can be summarised as follows:

Joint Tenants

  • Each owner has equal rights to the whole property
  • If one joint owner dies, property ownership automatically goes to the surviving owner
  • For the property to be sold, both owners must first agree to the sale and any proceeds from the sale are split equally
  • A joint owner cannot pass on their ownership of a property in their will

Tenants in Common

  • Ownership doesn’t have to be split 50/50: borrowers can own differing shares of the property
  • Property ownership does not automatically switch to the remaining owner if one joint owner dies
  • Once both owners agree to sell the property, the proceeds are split depending on the number of shares each owner has
  • Joint owners can pass on ownership of the property in their will

It’s worth pointing out that customers can change ownership type between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common and vice versa by getting in contact with Land Registry.

For example, if customers who purchased as Joint Tenants divorce or separate and then want to leave their share of the property to someone else, they can switch to Tenants in Common. Conversely, if Tenants in Common get married and want to have equal rights to the whole property they can request a change to Joint Tenants

You should always speak with a suitably qualified tax adviser and take legal advice before making any decisions.

For further information, please contact me at

Written by Claire Allison | Mortgage Consultant

Claire joined Mantle Financial Planning in 2001 having worked in the travel industry for several years. Read more >>

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