What is the difference between Tenants in Common & Joint Tenants?

When buying a commercial or residential property with another person/s your solicitor should ask and advise on how you wish to hold the equity in your property.

There are two ways you can hold the property which will be discussed below; firstly as Beneficial Joint Tenants and secondly as Tenants in Common.

 Beneficial Joint Tenants

This means you will own the property jointly as opposed to owning your own specific shares in the property. In the event of the death of a beneficial joint tenant the deceased’s share of the property automatically passes to the surviving beneficial joint tenant. It is not possible to leave your share of the property in a Will to anyone else as jointly held property falls outside the estate on death. A joint tenancy can be severed at any time, which would change it to Tenants in Common.

Tenants in Common

This means that you still own the property jointly so you would be co-owners but you would each own a specific share of the property which can be left to your beneficiaries in a Will. In the event of the death of a Tenant in Common, the deceased’s share in the property would not automatically pass to the surviving Tenant in Common (although it could be left to them in a Will). Each co-owner owns a proportion of the value of the property in the denominations agreed between themselves e.g. 60/40 or 50/50 which can be recorded in a Declaration of Trust which is signed by both co-owners and kept with the title deeds. This kind of ownership is sometimes preferred and usually considered if the contributions to the purchase price are unequal or if one party who already owns the property has some equity in the property. If you decide to own a property as tenants in common you are strongly advised to make a Will.

A Declaration of Trust or a Will can be drawn up by a solicitor at Forbes Solicitors if this is something you require.

If you require further advice or information on this subject please contact Adam Bromley, Head of the Commercial Property team, on 01772 220189 or email adam.bromley@forbessolicitors.co.uk. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Laura Bradley

About Laura Bradley

Laura Bradley is a Solicitor in the Commercial Property department at Forbes Solicitors. Within her blogs Laura deals with all aspects of commercial property including leases (from both landlord and tenant perspective), licences, acquisitions and disposals along with recent updates within the property sector.

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