February 23rd, 2021
Joint home ownership – which type do I need?
You have decided to purchase a property with somebody else – your partner, your friend or a family member. You have spent evening and weekends searching the internet for properties and viewed many properties and then you find ‘the one’. The conveyancing process has begun and your conveyancer is working hard behind the scenes to work towards your completion date.
However, you may not have considered exactly how you will own the property. There are two main ways in which a property can be held:
If you hold the property as joint tenants, you both own the whole of the property. Neither of you own a bigger share of the property than the other. The right of survivorship applies to joint tenants. This means if one of you were to pass away the property would automatically pass to the other.
Tenants in common
If you hold the property as tenants in common, you both own a distinct share of the property. This can be equal shares or it can be unequal. If you wish for the ownership to be held in unequal shares then you will need to have a Trust Deed set up (commonly referred to as a Declaration of Trust). In the absence of a Trust Deed the presumption will be equal shares.
If you were to pass away whilst holding the property as tenants in common, your share of the property will pass under your will or in accordance with intestacy rules in the absence of a valid will. If your co-owner would not be entitled to your estate by way of intestacy then they may find themselves owning the property with someone else if you did not leave the property to them under your will.
If you have any questions during your conveyancing transaction then make sure to ask one of our friendly team, who can discuss your options in full with you.