Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common: The Differences

January 26, 2021 3:48 am


If you are going through the process of buying a property with your partner or friend, you many have come across the terms tenants and tenants in common. It can be easy to get these two terms confused, so carry on reading to understand the differences.

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When you buy a home with a partner, you will both be tenants of the property with joint ownership of the entire property. If in the future you separate and sell the property, both of you will be entitled to an equal share. But in the event that one of you dies before the other, then the surviving tenant will inherit the entire property. Even though you may have made a Will, your Will is superseded by what is called the Right of Survivorship. So if you are considering buying a property with a second partner, and you have children from a previous relationship who you would like to leave the property to, this type of property ownership may not be right one for you.

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Tenants in Common

Tenants in common are able to hold individual shares of the property. And it is possible to hold unequal shares through using a deed of trust. So if you both wish to buy a home together but have different amounts to contribute, with this arrangement you will be able to ensure that your share of the property will be passed down according to your Will. This type of arrangement is also recommended in the event that one tenant in common may need to go into long-term care. When calculating the contribution for care home fees, local authorities can only use the share of the property that has been specified in the tenants in common agreement.

As you can see, there are major legal differences between joint tenants and tenants in common. So it is worth having that difficult conversation with your partner and then ensure your wishes about your investment in the property are fulfilled by taking out a deed of trust. This will ensure that you both buy a property fully informed about your legal rights. You can get further advice about this from your solicitor or conveyancing firms such as deed of trust.

Buying a property is a major financial investment in anyone’s life, so it makes sense make to get the best independent advice.