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Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common

You ask, we answer.

We have been asked recently the difference between holding a Property jointly as Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common.

Although we naturally hope that people will never "split up" nevertheless unfortunately this does sometimes happen, with resulting disputes as to who is entitled to what from the proceeds of sale of the property.

  1. Firstly, you should ask yourself, (before you are committed to buying a property); 1. Do you want the property to be jointly owned so that you each have an equal interest in the property and so that if one of you died, the survivor would automatically own the whole property? This would be holding the property as Joint Tenants.2. Do you want the property to be jointly owned so that you each own a precise and specified share of the property and are each able to leave your own share by Will to whoever you choose. If so, then do you wish:(a) To own the property in equal shares; or(b) To own the property in unequal shares to protect any owner who is putting more money into the purchase than the other(s)? Either of these would be holding the property as Tenants in Common. Please be advised that if one party is contributing more than 50% or wishes to have a larger share it is strongly advised that you have a Declaration of Trust in place and hold as Tenants in Common. If you do decide to hold the property as Tenants in Common, therefore having your own shares, you may wish to put in place Mirror Wills to set out your wishes on the event of your death. There may be other factors to consider and TMT Legal Services can advise you fully depending on your circumstances.

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