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Exploring Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

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What is Tenancy in Common?

Tenancy in common refers to a type of co-ownership where multiple individuals hold equal or unequal shares in a property. Each owner has the right to possess and use the entire property, but their shares may differ. Unlike joint tenancy, there is no right of survivorship in tenancy in common. This means that if one owner passes away, their share is not automatically transferred to the other owners. Instead, it becomes a part of their estate and is inherited according to their will or local laws of inheritance. Tenancy in common offers a flexible arrangement suitable for co-owners who want to have distinct shares and control over their respective portions.

What is joint tenancy?

Joint tenancy is another form of property co-ownership, but with one distinct feature: the right of survivorship. In joint tenancy, each owner holds an equal share in the property, and if one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s). This ensures that the last surviving owner eventually becomes the sole owner of the property. On the other hand, tenants in common do not have the right of survivorship, and each owner's share can be passed on to their heirs or beneficiaries upon their death. Deciding between joint tenancy and tenants in common largely depends on the co-owners' preferences and estate planning objectives.

Tenancy in Common vs Joint Tenancy

When choosing between tenancy in common and joint tenancy, several key considerations come into play. First, co-owners must discuss and agree on the percentage of ownership they each want. In tenancy in common, this can be unequal, while joint tenancy involves equal ownership. Additionally, understanding the implications of the right of survivorship is crucial. Some co-owners prefer joint tenancy for the simplicity it offers, while others opt for tenants in common to maintain control over their shares. It's essential to consult with legal and financial professionals to make an informed decision that aligns with each co-owner's goals and priorities.

If you hold a tenancy in common, your Title Register document will typically contain the following important phrase:

"No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court."

If this specific phrase is not present in your title register, it is likely that you are joint tenants.

At Land Registry Online, we understand the importance of having accurate property documents. We offer a range of services that include providing property documents - Title Register, Title Plan and any other available documents from the Land Registry. Simply provide us with the relevant details, including the full property or land address, and we will obtain the necessary documents for you and you will receive them by email within a few hours.

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