Points to consider when buying a property jointly

Posted on: February 22nd, 2016

If you are buying your home with another person, it may be a good idea to be joint owners.  There are two different sorts of joint ownership, Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common, we cover the main points below:

1. Joint Tenancy

Where a joint tenancy exists, none of the co-owners will be entitled to a distinct or separate proportion of the interest; each one effectively owns all of it. Of particular importance is the fact that where one of two joint tenants dies, his or her share will automatically pass to the survivor, irrespective of any wishes expressed in the deceased’s Will.

2. Tenancy in Common

Under such an arrangement, each co-owner holds a specified proportion of the interest in the property. On the death of a tenant in common, his or her share in the property will not pass automatically to the co-owner but will pass according to the wishes expressed in the deceased’s Will. If no Will exists, the interest will pass under the rules of intestacy which means that it passes to the deceased’s next of kin. To avoid any possible disputes, it is always preferable that the shares of each co-owner be expressed and recorded in a separate Deed known as a “Declaration of Trust” which should normally be kept with the Title documents. Tenancies in Common are often used where two or more persons buy a property and make unequal contributions towards the purchase price or in circumstances where one co-owner would not wish that person’s interest to pass automatically to the survivor on his or her death.

Remember – it is advisable to record legally the beneficial interest you have in the property at the outset of the purchase and to record what you should receive from the sale, i.e. you may have paid the deposit, or most of the legal costs on the purchase.

And importantly you should set down what could happen to your property upon your death. For this reason it is also important to make a Will.

The above is a brief review of the forms of joint ownership available. We should be glad to advise you further on the points when we meet to discuss the purchase, or indeed, upon your request.

For further information on moving home, please contact our residential conveyancing team on 023 8033 4661 or 023 9238 8021.

You can also read our Moving House – Frequently Asked Questions, for more information on moving home.