What is the difference between tenants in common and joint tenants

Published: 13th January, 2016


There are two ways in which a property can be owned in joint names:-


 This is often also known as holding a property as ‘Joint Tenants’.  In this case each co-owner owns all the property.  When one co-owner dies, his interest disappears and since the surviving co-owner already owns all of the property, nothing passes or is transferred under any will.  Little more needs to be done other than to record the death.  Whilst this may be simple and convenient, it may not always be appropriate and this option should only be chosen with care.

Ownership in Common

 This is often also known as holding the property as ‘Tenants in Common’.  This is where each co-owner has a separate and distinct share of the property.  For example a 50-50 or 70-30 share. On the death of a co-owner under an ownership in common agreement, his share will not pass automatically to the survivors but will pass according to the wishes expressed in the deceased’s will (or to the next of kin under the intestacy rules if no will exists).