It must not be assumed that each person listed on the Land Registry title document is entitled to an even share of the land. An example could be that one party paid more than the other or others and therefore entitling that party to more of the equity in the land.
There are two different ways of holding property. ‘Tenants in Common’ is one way and is likely to be agreed between friends where specific percentages of the property can be agreed and allocated to either party. If this has been decided then it is highly advised that the percentages of the property that each party holds are recorded in a Trust Deed. A reason why a married couple might want to hold the property as tenants in common could be because they have been married before and this way each party can leave their share of the property to a third party, for example children from the first marriage.
The other way of holding property, which is more commonly used by a husbands and wife, is a ‘Joint Tenants’. This would mean that if one of the spouses were to die then the other spouse would automatically become the sole owner of the property. It is important that when you purchase a property with another party, you consider entering into a Trust Deed to record how the property is to be held if one party is contributing to the mortgage and the other is not or one has paid a larger deposit than the other.
If you want the survivor of you to own the whole property after you die, then it is advisable to hold the property as ‘Joint Tenants’.
This guide is intended as general information only it does not seek to summarise the relevant legislation which is a complex and technical area of law. You should take specific professional legal advice relating to your personal circumstances prior to proceeding with any action.