Joint Tenancy vs Tenants in Common

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Published on 16 December, 2020

Forced House Sale & Home Ownership Disputes

An issue you may face when selling or making use of a property is finding out someone else could have an interest in your property. And, they may dispute your ownership of the property because of that.

Often, ownership disputes – more specifically, home co-ownership disputes – arise from joint tenancies and tenants in common. So, if you are trying to sort out who actually owns your home and why, it’s important to know what the differences are.

Joint Tenancies

Joint tenancies are, in effect, where every person owns the whole property collectively, with everyone acting as a single owner together. There are a few key things you should know about being a joint tenant:

  • Everyone has equal right to the whole property
  • You cannot pass ownership of the property in a Will
  • You will automatically inherit the property if the other owners die
  • To sell the property, all owners must agree to do so
  • If you intend to mortgage, this must be done with a joint-mortgage

Tenants in Common

Unlike joint tenancies, with tenants in common each person owns a separate share of the property. These shares do not have to be of equal size. The key things to know about tenants in common are:

  • To sell the property, all tenants in common must agree to do so
  • Shares of the property can be mortgaged separately, but it is usually easier and simpler to get a joint-mortgage
  • You can pass ownership of the property in a Will
  • Shares of the property do not automatically go to other owners if you die

Can You Still Force a Sale?

In both types of tenancy above, all tenants must agree to a sale for the property to be sold. But, there are a couple of exceptions to that.

Firstly, a good solicitor may be able get consent to sell the property from a tenant who is initially unwilling to sell.

If that doesn’t work out, a solicitor may still be able to present a case for a court order to force a sale. Forcing a sale in this way is something we specialise in, so please give us a call if you need help with a house or property sale.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions and would like some expert advice about co-ownership, please call us on 01925 351 350. Remember, the first 15 minutes of our advice is completely free.

We can also help if you are in dispute about shared ownership of a property. Please get in touch to find out more.

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