Buying a property together as a couple is an exciting time – but should you make the purchase as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common?
Couples can choose how to buy their home, and the option that’s right for you depends on how you want the equity to be held for the future.
With a joint tenancy, both you and your partner own the property and have no specific shares and have equal rights to the whole of it. This is regardless of the equity share you each put into buying the property originally.
If a co-owner dies, their share automatically passes to the surviving co-owner, known as the Right of Survivorship.
This is the most straightforward option and is often chosen by married couples, as it avoids probate and inheritance tax issues by automatically passing the deceased co-owner’s share to the surviving one.
Tenants In Common
Owning property together as Tenants in Common means each of you own a specified share in the property. You can choose to set the ownership split from the start or to detail it according to the financial contributions you make during your ownership of the property.
You can own different shares in the property and can use a Declaration of Trust to state any financial details or write this within your Will.
When one of you dies, the surviving owner cannot sell the property without the appointment of a further co-trustee. The deceased’s share of the property does not automatically go to the other owner and will pass according to their Will or the rules of intestacy.
This option enables couples who are paying an unequal amount towards the purchase price to safeguard their bigger share, and lets unmarried couples pass their share of the property to their children in the future.
Which Ownership Option Is Right For You?
If you’re unsure whether owning your property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common is best for you, make sure you’re honest with your partner about your wishes for the future. It’s a good idea to seek independent legal advice before purchasing the property, too, if your contributions are unequal or you want to be able to pass your share of the property onto someone else when you die.
You can change how you own your property at a later date, if your circumstances change. You might want to switch from having a joint tenancy to being Tenants in Common if you divorce or separate and decide to leave your share to someone else. Or you might wish to change from the Tenants in Common option to Joint Tenants if you get married and want equal rights to the whole property.
Helping You With Your Property Purchase
Our conveyancing solicitors are here to help you with every aspect of your property purchase – including choosing the right ownership option for you.
Depending on your personal situation and wishes for the future, we will help you buy your property in the right way. We can also help with the additional drafting of specific details in your Will or with the drawing up of a Declaration of Trust, if needed.
With our help, you can buy your property in the best possible way, providing you with the financial reassurance and peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after in the future.
To speak to one of our solicitors about property ownership options or any other aspect of conveyancing, please contact Bartletts Solicitors today on Freephone 0800 833288, or 01244 311 633 or email email@example.com or Khalid.firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can Make An Online Enquiry and one of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.