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Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants:

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When do you become Joint Tenants

When buying a property with someone else, it is common to assume that you will automatically become joint tenants. However, many people do not realise that there is another option: tenants in common.

Understanding the differences between these two forms of ownership can be crucial, particularly if your circumstances change and you need to sever your ownership with your co-owner.Contact Trusted Will Writing Staffordshire for more information.

what is joint tenancy? ​

Joint tenancy refers to a form of property ownership where all joint tenants hold equal and undivided shares in the property. This implies that the property cannot be divided into separate portions, and it is jointly owned by all tenants. In the unfortunate event of a tenant’s passing, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without the requirement of a will or probate. Joint tenancy is a commonly chosen ownership structure by married couples and partners who wish to ensure a smooth transition of their shares in case of demise. Begin your estate planning journey today with Trusted Will Writing Staffordshire. Contact us now for a complimentary consultation.

Tenants in common ​

Tenants in common have separate and distinct ownership of the property. This means that each owner owns a specific share of the land which can be sold or transferred without the other tenant’s consent.

Tenants in common are not required to have equal shares and can own different percentages of the property. Unlike joint tenancy, the right of survivorship does not apply to tenants in common.

In the event of a tenant in common’s death, their share will pass to their beneficiaries as set out in their will (or intestacy rules if there is no will).

How to sever your joint tenancy​

If you want to sever your joint tenancy and become tenants in common, it is essential that you speak to Trusted Will Writing Staffordshire. You will need to prepare a ‘Declaration of Trust’ which states that you both wish to hold the property as tenants in common and what percentage each owner will hold. 

This document will need to be registered with the Land Registry.

What do you need to consider?

When severing your joint tenancy, you may also need to consider the implications for any mortgages or loans secured against the property. If you are transferring equity to one owner, you may need to obtain consent from your lender or remortgage the property in order to release the other owner from any liability

.Contact Trusted Will Writing Staffordshire and we will answer any questions you may have regarding severing your joint tenancy.

What are the tax implications​

It is also important to think about how this change in ownership could impact your tax liabilities. There may be Capital Gains Tax implications if one owner is transferring a larger share of the property to the other.

Similarly, if one owner is paying more towards the mortgage or upkeep of the property, they may be able to claim a greater percentage of the mortgage interest against their tax bill.

Protect your share of a property​

Ultimately, the decision to sever your joint tenancy and become tenants in common will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are going through a separation or divorce, you may wish to sever your joint tenancy in order to protect your share of the property. 

Similarly, if you are co-owning a property with someone who is not your spouse or partner, becoming tenants in common may be a more appropriate option.

Is joint tenancy a popular option

Knowing the distinctions between tenants in common and joint tenants is crucial for individuals who co-own a property. At Trusted Will Writing, we strive to impart clear explanations of these differences. While joint tenancy is commonly chosen by couples and partners, tenants in common may be better suited for those seeking separate ownership or protection of their share. If you wish to sever your joint tenancy and become tenants in common, reach out to Trusted Will Writing today to consult with our advisors regarding any potential tax or mortgage implications.

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