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What is a Joint Tenant?

Posted on Monday, 19th June 2017 by

What is a joint tenant?


When purchasing a property, your solicitors will ask at some point during the transaction how you want to own the property and the terms used are either joint tenants or tenants in common. This usually leads to some confusion due to the terminology used as usually the term tenant suggest a rental situation i.e. landlord and tenant.


However, despite the terminology by simply deciding to own the property as either joint tenants or tenants in common does not necessarily been you are creating a lease/rental situation so please do not let this worry you.


The main point to consider is which choice to make.


Joint tenants Vs tenants in common 


When purchasing a property in joint names it is important to consider how you wish to own your property.


There are various way to own (otherwise referred to as “hold”) the property the distinction between both is important especially in the event one of the owners was to pass away.


Joint Tenants will hold the whole property together and if anything was to happen to one of the parties, the property will automatically go to the other surviving joint owner regardless of what the deceased’s Will states.

You can not leave part of the property to a third person(s) in your Will as the surviving party will own the whole of the property and the survivor will just need to produce the original Will when dealing with the property i.e. selling the house.


Joint tenants are typically used by married couples.


Tenants in common can be held in Equal shares 50/50 or in unequal shares (decided by a Declaration of Trust) agreed by the parties.


If the property is held in equal shares and one of the owners was to pass away, their share would form part of their estate and will be dealt with under the terms of their Will. Therefore the deceased’s share will not be automatically passed to the surviving owner. The surviving owner will continue to own their original share.


If the property is held in unequal shares, this form would be documented in the title deeds at the land registry and we would advise a Declaration of Trust is drafted to detail how the shares are to be calculated.


Most homeowners who contribute an unequal deposit amount for example 25% by one and 75% by the other.


It is worth noting that should your circumstance change once your decision has been made, you can later change your decision and your solicitors can guide you through the seamless process.


If you are considering purchasing a property in joint names and are unsure which choice to make, please feel free to call us at the Syston branch on 0116 402 6688 where a member of the conveyancing team will be more than happy to talk you through the options in readiness of you becoming homeowners.The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. 




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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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Sarah Sainsbury - Residential Conveyancing
Sarah Sainsbury - Residential Conveyancing
sarah.sainsbury@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 0116 402 6688
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