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Gordon & Rumsby: Joint Tenants Or Tenants In Common?

March 30, 2012

Gordon & Rumsby – Estate Agents in Dorset and Devon.

Information About Different Ways To Take Ownership Of Your Home.

We had a first time buyer walk in to Gordon & Rumsby this week asking about Joint Tenancy versus Tenants in Common, and if you are in the process of looking for your very first home, you may not know it yet, but there are different ways in which you can own a property. The way in which you take ownership to a property can have significant legal and tax implications, and therefore, you should seek legal advice to choose the most appropriate option for you. A conveyancing solicitor can advise you as to the best option for your situation.

Here is a brief summary of the three main ways to take ownership of property in England:

  1. Sole Tenant: One person owns 100% of the property.
  2. Joint Tenants: Two or more people own the property in equal shares, and have equal right to any income. If one person dies, their interest in the property automatically passes to the other joint tenants, irrespective of any will that person may have made.
  3. Tenants in Common: Two or more people own the property with unequal shares to the rights and income. If one person dies, their interest in the property passes according to the terms of their will. If there is no will, the ‘laws of intestacy’ will determine who gets it and sometimes the decision can be devastating to family members as well as to the other tenants in common. So make sure you have a will.

Many married couples opt for joint tenancy, if they are content to own equal shares in the property, and that the survivor will own 100% of the property upon the death of one spouse.

Business partners, unmarried couples, couples who may have children from a different marriage, friends or family members are more inclined to take ownership of a property as tenants in common.  They may be putting unequal deposit amounts towards the purchase of the property, or it may be that they do not wish their share of the property to pass to the other tenants in common in the event of their death.

You can find a conveyancing solicitor by going to the Gordon & Rumsby Useful Links Page.

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