Property co-ownership agreements

Whenever a property is bought by more than one person – whether as an investment or as a home – the law creates a trust. When this is done informally, the law dictates the rules that apply to that trust. When two or more people jointly buy a property they have the choice whether to own it as “joint tenants” or as “tenants in common”. Owning the property as “joint tenants” means that on death, that share would pass to the survivor. As “tenants in common”, your share would pass with your will or under the intestacy rules. This is an important choice with potentially significant consequences – so it needs to be thought through carefully.

We can help you make the choice that best suits your situation. Where “tenants in common” is the preferred route we also recommend that a formal co-ownership agreement (or “trust deed”) should be put in place. This sets out the basis on which the property will be used and paid for, and what happens when either owner wishes to sell. That’s a lot better than leaving the law to decide what should happen.

Andy Coyle, Director Head of our property services and lead guitarist.

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