Joint Ownership

In law, there are two ways in which you may hold jointly owned property:

1. Joint Tenants. If you hold the property as Joint Tenants, the property will be held in your joint names. The property will automatically pass by survivorship to the surviving owner on the first death. The property will not form part of the deceased owners Estate regardless of any instructions to the contrary in the deceased owner's will.

2. Tenants in Common. If you hold the property as Tenants in Common, the property is held in your joint names and each owner holds a proportional share of the property. Upon the death of either party their share in the property will pass in accordance with the intestacy rules or as indicated in their will. The property will not automatically pass to the surviving owner.

Should you decide to hold the property as Tenants in Common, it is imperative that you make a will. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your instructions in this respect.

If you are purchasing the property jointly with another person, you will need to decide how you wish to hold the property, as joint tenants or tenants in common, prior to completion of your property purchase.

Where a tenancy in common is to be created and money is being provided in unequal shares, it is wise for co-owners to enter into a separate Declaration of Trust simultaneously with the completion of their property transaction. Indeed, the Court of Appeal has recently suggested that this ought to be done in such cases. At the very least, this document should record the shares in which joint owners will hold the equitable estate in the property (i.e. its' net value). It is also important for Wills to be made at this point in time dealing with the co-owners shares in the property. In addition, a Declaration of Trust could cover the situation arising in the future if one of the co-owners wished to sell and the other wished to retain the property, possibly including an option to purchase each others share. In the event that you require further information in relation to Declarations of Trust, please do not hesitate to contact us in this respect. Our Legal Charges in preparing a Declaration of Trust will amount to approximately £50.00 to £100.00 depending on the complexity of the document.

Please note that the choice that you make in relation to how you wish to hold the property may have serious tax implications and may also affect the validity of any clause made in your Will. No advice has been provided by us in this respect. Should you require additional information in this regard please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please provide us with your Tenancy instructions by completing the Joint Ownership Declaration in your Welcome Pack Form.

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