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What's the difference? Joint Tenants / Tenants In Common

It's a re-occurring question that pops up from time to time – usually then when issues arise.

They may sound similar, in fact VERY similar, but there are a few important differences between 'Joint Tenants' and 'Tenants in Common' property ownership.

Check your property ownership sharing details and make sure you are aware of possible implications for the future.


Joint Tenants

Property Share: All joint tenants hold equal share in the property.

Example: Jack and Jill buy a property together. Jill puts in 60% of the finance so would like a 60% share of the property. This is not possible under Joint Tenancy – Jack and Jill will both have a 50% share, independent of who put in what.

What happens if one person dies? On the death of a Joint Tenant their share will be equally distributed to the others within the Joint Tenancy.

Example: Jack dies and his share of the property automatically goes to the other Joint Tenant(s), in this case, Jill.


Tenants in Common

Property Share: Share of the property is determined by the Tenants in Common.

Example: Kevin and Tony decide to buy a property together. Tony puts in 60% of the finance, while Kevin raises 40%. Tony can then hold a 60% share and Kevin a 40% share in the property.

What happens if one person dies? On the death of a Tenant in Common their share will go to the person(s) designated in their will.

Example: Kevin dies (note: this is not meant as a political forecast, just as an example) and Tony thinks he'll get Kevin's share – but that's NOT the case. In his will, Kevin has left all his property to his wife. This means Tony has a 60% share and now Kevin's wife owns the other 40% share of the property.

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