Co-ownership

When a property is being purchased by two or more people, there are two ways in which it can be owned.

Joint tenancy

The most common form is joint tenants. Joint Tenants means that on the death of one of the owners the property belongs to the survivors, irrespective of the contents of any will. So if there are two owners, when one dies the survivor will automatically become the sole owner of the whole property.

Tenancy in common

In this case, each of the co-owners has a defined share in the property and their interests can be in equal or unequal proportions. The main difference to joint tenancy is that either co-owner can, during their lifetime or by a Will, give away or sell their share in the property. This share does not have to be given to the other joint owners but may be dealt with as the person wishes.

When purchasing a property jointly you should always consider the circumstances and financial implications involved. If one or both of the parties have been married before, and there are children whose interests need to be protected, the property should be held as tenants in common and a Will prepared. Also, if each owner contributes different amounts, it may be appropriate to set out the financial particulars in writing, as well as any other aspects of the ownership. This written document is called a Declaration of Trust and we can assist in drawing up such an agreement.

We can also assist if the property needs to be transferred from one party to another and deal with any lender