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Jointly owned property

If you own a property with another person you may wish to consider the way in which you own that property. When you first purchase a property with someone, you are asked if you wish to own it as 'joint tenants' or 'tenants in common'.


Joint tenants means that you both own the whole house and that if one of you was to pass away the property automatically passes to the surviving owner regardless of what the person's will may say. If you own the property as tenants in common it means that you each own a share or percentage of the property and can say in your will what should happen to your share when you pass away.


If you contribute different amounts of money towards the purchase then it is a good idea to choose 'tenants in common' and to also prepare a declaration of trust. This is a document that sets out the details of your ownership, and the agreements between you about how the proceeds should be divided if the property is eventually sold. It can also set out who is responsible for outgoings (such as utility bills, mortgage payments and repairs and maintenance) and set out a procedure to be followed if one person wishes to sell.


If you have a declaration of trust that needs reviewing or amending, or if you think that it may be appropriate for your circumstances please call us.


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