Our Property Conveyancing Solicitor’s Guide To Buying A Property As Tenants In Common
Posted on 19th June 2020
If you’re buying a house with another person, you will be asked by your Property Conveyancing Solicitors how you want to own the property. There are two options: you can own your property as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common. To make this decision, there are a few important factors that you will want to consider.
You can read about the differences in owning a house as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common in our Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster’s blog, here.
Today, our Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston are going to outline a quick guide to help you with buying a property as Tenants in Common.
Deciding on the shares of your property
One main difference between owning a property as Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common is that with Tenants in Common, you own an identifiable share of the property, as opposed to simply owning the full 100% of the property jointly with another person as Joint Tenants.
Many of our property law clients choose to be Tenants in Common for that exact reason: so that each owner has a specific share. To make this decision, you will need to know what share each owner will have. For example, this could be 50% each, or you may decide that one owner will have 30%, whilst the other will have 70%. You may choose different percentages – essentially, the choice lies with you and your co-buyer.
It’s important to make this decision as soon as possible, so that you know where you stand from the beginning of your property purchase. Otherwise, if this decision hasn’t been made, you could delay the property purchase further down the line, whilst you make this decision.
Arrange Your Mortgage
Before your property purchase can progress to exchange and completion, you need to obtain a mortgage offer in principle. Ideally, this mortgage offer will be obtained before you decide to make an offer on a property. That way, you know that you’ll definitely be able to get the funds, and you won’t be left disappointed further down the line.
As to own a property as Tenants in Common you have to be buying with another person (otherwise, you wouldn’t even need to make this decision), you will have to apply for any mortgage jointly with the other person. Buying a property as Tenants in Common will most likely not make any difference to your ability to obtain a mortgage, however, it’s always best to ensure that your mortgage company is aware of this.
One option for obtaining a mortgage is to speak to a mortgage broker, who will be able to provide you with expert advice and will, potentially, have access to a range of mortgage deals. Alternatively, contact the mortgage providers directly yourself.
Your broker (or mortgage provider) will need access to in-depth personal information about you and your co-buyer, including your financial information, employment details and circumstances.
Instruct a Property Conveyancing Solicitor
As with any property purchase or sale (whether residential or commercial), you should seek the assistance of an expert Property Conveyancing Solicitor, such as our team in Lancaster or Preston. As with anything, you should always obtain a few quotes before you decide which property conveyancing solicitors to proceed with. However, it’s important to note that you should not necessarily just choose the cheapest. You should consider a range of factors before making a decision, such as the firm’s location, their legal fees, the rapport that you have with the team, and their reviews.
You can read our Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster’s reviews online, here, or read the reviews for our Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston online, here.
Discuss Financial Arrangements
To make sure that you are prepared for life in your new home, you and your co-buyer should discuss how other outgoings are going to be divided between you, such as the mortgage, household bills, renovations and maintenance.
You should also consider what would happen in the future if either party wanted to sell their share. You can find out more about co-habitation agreements discussed by our Family Law Solicitors online, here.
What happens to the property if one owner dies
Another significant difference between owning a property as Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common is what happens to the Property if one of you dies. As Joint Tenants, if one of the owners dies, the entire property would then belong to the surviving owner. As Tenants in Common, the deceased’s share of the property would pass either under their Will (if they have made one during their lifetime), or under the Rules of Intestacy (if they do not leave a Will).
If you are buying a property as Tenants in Common, you should contact our expert Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate Solicitors in Preston or Lancaster online, here, for a call back within one working hour to discuss your Will requirements.
We offer an excellent fixed fee for Will drafting of just £140.00 plus VAT for a single Will and £240.00 plus VAT for mirror Wills.*
*Prices correct as of February 2021.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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