National Conveyancing Week 2024: Joint Tenants v Tenants in Common


National Conveyancing Week 2024: Joint Tenants v Tenants in Common

Did you know there are two different ways that property can be jointly owned by two or more people?

In the latest in our series of posts to mark this year’s National Conveyancing Week, conveyancer Dawn Booker considers the difference between joint tenants and tenants in common.

  1. Joint tenants.

Owning your property as joint tenants means the property belongs to you and the other owner, or owners, jointly. There is no separate distinction between tenants. You must all act together as a single owner.

You will not own any specific shares in the property and you cannot give away a share of the property in your Will. Your interest in the property automatically passes to the surviving owner or owners upon your death.

Often this form of ownership is chosen by married couples or civil partners, where these parties are content for the survivor to be the absolute owner.

The ownership of the property held on a joint tenants basis cannot be altered by a Will. A Will made by a joint tenant, which tries to leave the property to anyone other than another legal joint tenant, would be ineffective.

  1. Tenants in common.

Owning property as tenants in common means you jointly own the property, but as co-owners you are regarded in law as having separate shares.

Often the shares are held on a 50/50 basis, but if one person is putting more of their money in than the other, the shares can be more specific. In the event of the death of a tenant in common, their share of the property passes to the beneficiary on their Will.

This type of ownership would be most useful when joint owners are unmarried, or are not a couple. It is also often used to ensure that one half of a married couple can pass on their share to their children, while the other person can continue living in the property, passing on their remaining half only on their death.

It can also be used to prevent having to sell your home if you need to go into long-term care and is a way for couples to protect their share in case of separation, divorce, or remarriage.

Speak to us today about setting up declarations of trust, or how you own your property. You can call us on 01420 82881 or email

National Conveyancing Week 2024 aims to raise the profile of the role a conveyancer plays in your property sale or purchase. Click here to find out more about the event.

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