Co-ownership of property


Co-ownership of property is when two or more people own property together. What are the two methods of ownership?

  • Firstly, people can own their property as 'joint tenants', in which they own the whole property together.

If people own the property as joint tenants, then the death of one of the joint tenants means that all of the property will automatically vest in the remaining joint tenants. This is known as the rule of survivorship.

  • Secondly, co-ownership of property can occur when people hold property as 'tenants in common'.

This means that the people who own the land own a distinct share of the land, whether their shares are equal or not. The rule of survivorship does not apply here. If one tenant-in-common dies their share in the property will pass through their will, or if they died without a will, through the rules of intestacy.

It is possible to tell from the proprietorship register of the official copies (in registered land) whether land is held by tenants in common or by joint tenants. It is important that a conveyancing expert looks at the official copies (or epitome of title in unregistered land) to check how the sellers hold the property.

Failure to follow proper procedure when buying a property from a tenant-in-common or a joint tenant can result in financial loss.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on co-ownership of property or advice on selling or buying property with another person, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist property solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local property solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web form above.

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