If you are considering purchasing a property with a partner, friend or family member it is important to consider the two distinct types of property ownership as well as the rights and obligations related to each type. In particular, you can own a property as either ‘tenants in common’ or as a ‘joint tenancy’.

Tenants in Common

As tenants in common you both own a defined share of the property. However, these do not have to be shares in equal proportions. Owning a property as tenants in common means that:

  • You are able to sell your share of the property separately.
  • Even if you own an individual share, you will still need to agree with the other co-owners if you decide that you want to sell the property.
  • You can leave your share of the property to a beneficiary in your will. Therefore, if you die, your share will pass to the named beneficiary in your will or a next of kin (in the event that you die intestate).
  • You are able to mortgage your share of the property. However, as it is unlikely that a mortgage lender would consent to this, a joint mortgage over the whole property would still be required.

For these reasons, this type of ownership is most commonly used by relatives or friends who are looking to purchase a property together.

Joint Tenancy

As joint tenants, each individual owns all of the property collectively. In other words, there is no proportional or split ownership and each person has a 100% share. From a legal point of view, you must act together as one single owner and this means that:

  • If you mortgage the property, you will need to get one joint mortgage for the value of the whole property.
  • You will have equal rights to the whole of the property.
  • You will need the consent of the other co-owners if you decide that you want to sell the property.
  • If you die, your part of the property will automatically pass to the other co-owners. You therefore cannot leave the property to someone in your will.

For these reasons, joint tenancy is most usually used by married couples or people in civil partnerships.

If you are still unsure on the two different types of ownership and, more importantly, which one is right for you then feel free to contact us on 0161 870 6629 and a member of our highly trained and skilled legal team would be more than happy to assist.