What does it mean?

If you purchase a property with your partner, husband, wife or civil partner or siblings it is necessary to consider how you wish to “own” the property in order to protect your investment in the future.

There are two main options:-

Joint Tenants

This means the Land Registry looks at joint owners as one single entity, as opposed to a couple and does not apportion percentages.   In real terms this means if one of you should die the property will automatically pass to the sole survivor under the survivorship rules, whether or not that is what you actually want.

This particular type of ownership is ideal for married couples who have contributed equally to the purchase of their property and are content for the property to pass to each other, automatically on their death.

Consider however how this would effect you if you separate, meet a new partner or have children from a previous relationship.

It is possible to sever a joint tenancy if your circumstances change in the future and indeed, many people find it necessary to review their finances and property ownership as they get older and their family situation changes.

Tenants in Common

Here two (or more) parties purchasing a property would actually specify the shares/percentages they wish to own in the property and could own as Tenants in common in equal shares or unequal shares.

This option is particularly useful where one purchaser has children from a previous relationship whom they wish to provide for on their death. Or indeed, where perhaps parents or grandparents have gifted their grown up child a deposit to purchase their first home and some form of protection is required.

This option is also useful for family members, such as siblings who own property jointly.

If you chose Tenants in Common in unequal shares when purchasing a property, your Solicitor will recommend you enter into a Trust Deed to set out your intentions at the time of purchase and the shares you hold.  This is the best form of protection for your investment in the years to come.

A restriction will be entered onto the registers of title once your purchase is complete, to indicate that a Trust is in place and certain requirements need to be satisfied.

You will need to make a Will if you own property as Tenants in Common as your share will not automatically pass on death under the survivorship rules.

We can help

If you are considering purchasing a property jointly, if your circumstances have changed and you are not sure what is best for you now, discuss the options with your Solicitor before making a decision.  A little extra consideration now can save a lot of worry and expense in the future.

Contact the Ringrose Law Conveyancing Team for advice at your nearest office in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark and Sleaford or email


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