Joint tenants or tenants in common
If you have two or more purchasers buying a property, you will have to decide whether you want to hold the property as ‘Joint Tenants’ or as ‘Tenants in Common’.
There are benefits and/or consequences associated with each – below is a summary of the differences:
Joint Tenants – If you hold the property as Joint Tenants, on the death of one owner, their share in the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant, despite any provision in a will.
Tenants in Common – If you purchase a property as Tenants in Common, then on the death of a co-owner, the share of the property of that co-owner will pass in accordance with their will, or in accordance with the laws of intestacy if they do not have a valid will.
Holding the property in unequal shares
Joint Tenants – A joint tenancy is not appropriate where parties wish to hold the property in unequal shares.
Tenants in Common – If purchasers wish to hold the property other than equally (eg. 90/10 split or some other unequal percentage ownership) for taxation or asset protection reasons, then you must hold the property as Tenants in Common. You will need to advise us of the percentage of ownership each owner is to have as this needs to be set out on the property Transfer. Any later change to ownership proportions will result in transfer duty being imposed.