Home > Legal Articles > The difference between joint tenants and tenants in common

The difference between joint tenants and tenants in common

Posted on Friday, 7th April 2017 by

You must decide which type of joint ownership you want if you buy, inherit or become a trustee of a property with someone else. You tell the Land Registry about this when you register the property.

You can own a property as either ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’.

The type of ownership affects what you can do with the property if your relationship with a joint owner breaks down, or if one owner dies.

Joint tenants

As joint tenants (sometimes called ‘beneficial joint tenants’):

  • you have equal rights to the whole property
  • the property automatically goes to the other owners if you die
  • you can’t pass on your ownership of the property in your will

Tenants in common

As tenants in common:

  • you can own different shares of the property
  • the property doesn’t automatically go to the other owners if you die
  • you can pass on your share of the property in your will

Can this be changed?

You can change from being either:

There’s no fee to do this.

You can also change from sole ownership to tenants in common or joint tenants, eg if you want to add your partner as joint owner. This is called transferring ownership.

Talk to our legal team

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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