How to find out if you are Tenants in Common or Joint Tenants
Posted on 10th March 2020
When purchasing a property, there are a number of decisions for you to make and, when purchasing in joint names, there is a further factor to consider. This relates to whether you are to hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common.
Whilst, on the face of things, these two phrases may seem very similar, the implications can be quite different. Whilst both allow property to be held jointly, their meanings, in terms of ownership, differ as follows:
Joint Tenants: Means that the property is to be held jointly, under the survivorship principal. This principal sets out that on the death of one of the registered proprietors, the property will automatically pass, from the deceased, to the surviving proprietor.
Tenants in Common: Our solicitors in Preston will tell you that this is not the most popular choice of property ownership. Means that each registered proprietor holds their own share in the property, whether this be an equal 50% share, or an alternatively recorded share. Where tenants in common are holding a property in unequal shares, it would be advisable to discuss the potential need for a Deed of Trust with your conveyancing solicitor, particularly where the respective parties are making unequal contributions to the purchase.
In any event, where property owners opt to hold a property as tenants in common, this means that they are each able to dispose of their own share, within their Will, as they wish. As you can see, this differs from the above and will not automatically mean that the property of a deceased proprietor is to pass to a surviving owner.
See our blog on Joint Ownership, for more information on which option may be best for you.
This is a decision which property owners are asked to make at the time of purchase, in order that the appropriate form of ownership can be recorded at the Land Registry. At MG Legal, many of our valued clients have owned their property for a number of years which may mean many are simply unaware of how they hold their property. So, why is this important you may ask?
Well, as we grow older and the need to draft a Will becomes more important, one key matter to discuss with our solicitors in Preston will relate to any jointly owned property. This is an essential consideration as, how the same is held, can restrict how the same is to be disposed of by your Will.
At MG Legal, our local solicitors can obtain Official Copy Entries from the Land Registry which will provide an indication as to how the property is held.
Where property owners have opted for joint tenants, the property is simply confirmed to be within the joint names of the respective owners. Where, however, the property is held as tenants in common, the Land Registry practice is to enter what is known as a Form A Restriction against the title. The Restriction usually reads as follows:
"No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court."
The Restriction is noted in order to confirm the fact that the property is held as tenants in common, and prevents any dispositions of the property being undertaken by only one of the registered owners. Essentially, the same works to provide protection for any beneficiaries within the Will of a deceased proprietor. Where one registered owner passes away, this Restriction ensures that the surviving owner is unable to dispose of the property by themselves, and disregard the rights of any beneficiaries with rights of entitlement to the same.
As you can see, the decisions you make, when both purchasing a property and drafting your Will, can be of potential importance in later life. It is, therefore, imperative that you are adequately advised on the impacts of the same; you should always use a solicitor.
Our team of expert Wills and Probate solicitors can draft your Will at £110.00 + VAT and, for you joint owners out there who would like to draft Mirror Wills, £195.00 + VAT (prices correct at time of posting).
If, therefore, you are proposing to purchase a property in joint names, and are unsure of which option may be best for you, contact our property solicitors in Preston today, whom will be on hand to assist you with your conveyance. Get in touch, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to speak with one of our expert team.
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors
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