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What’s the difference between joint tenants and tenants in common?

Sarah McCann | What's the difference between joint tenants and tenants in common?

Buying property together is an exciting step in any relationship or friendship, but the legal aspects can be daunting and easy to overlook. However, it’s crucial to understand the options that are available for shared home ownership before you enter into an agreement as they each have their own legal implications.

Sarah Playdon, a conveyancing executive at LCF Residential outlines the key differences between joint tenants and tenants in common to help you decide which is best for you and your co-buyer(s).

Joint tenants

As joint tenants, each owner has equal rights to the property which means if you sell, the proceeds will be split equally.

Perhaps the most important feature of this ownership type is that if one of you passes away, the property will automatically be left to the other owner(s). You cannot pass ownership on to someone else in your will.

Tenants in common

As tenants in common, each party owns a separate share of the property. These shares can be the same or different in size and if you want to sell, the proceeds will be split according to those proportions.

Unlike in a joint tenancy, your share will not automatically go to your co-owner(s) if you die and you can pass it on to others in your will.

Which joint ownership type is best for us?

It depends. In very general terms, joint tenancy may be best suited to couples who anticipate leaving their share of the home to their spouse. Tenancy in common is usually better for those who wish to maintain a degree of separation, such as parents who are helping their children onto the property ladder or friends who are buying a house together.

There are many exceptions to this though. For example, for unmarried couples and those seeking greater financial independence from one another, tenancy in common gives added legal protection. Nobody likes thinking about the possibility of separating, but an increasing number of couples are choosing to own property in this way as it can make things easier if the relationship breaks down in the future.

How can Sarah help you?

Choosing the right ownership type can be difficult, but our residential property specialists are here to discuss the options in more detail if you’re still unsure which one best suits your needs and circumstances.

For further advice, call Sarah Playdon on 03456 800 277 or email ku.oc1718414268.fcl@1718414268nodya1718414268lps1718414268.

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