What is the difference between Joint Tenancy and Tenants-in-Common?
Where two or more persons hold an estate or interest in land they are required to state the tenancy in which they hold the estate or interest, that is, either as joint tenants or tenants-in-common.
Joint tenants have a right of survivorship. This means that if A and B own land as joint tenants and if either A or B dies then the interest of the deceased joint tenant automatically passes to the survivor. In effect the joint tenant does not have an interest in the land that he or she can leave in a will unless he or she is the sole surviving joint tenant. Once a joint tenant dies then the death is noted by an Application to Note Death. Please refer to our leaflet on death of registered owner for more details.
To create a Joint Tenancy the following rules must be satisfied:
All the joint tenants must acquire their interest in the property at the same time and from the same transaction.
The interest must be identical in nature and each tenant enjoys an equal right to the whole or any part of the property but not an exclusive right to possess any part.
A tenant in common does not possess a right of survivorship. When a tenant in common dies then his interest in the land passes under the terms of his will or if he dies leaving no will, his interest is distributed under the Intestate Estates and Property Charges Act. Once a tenant-in-common dies, the passing of his estate to the personal representative is registered by way of a Transmission Application. Refer to our information sheet on the death of a registered owner for further details.
The tenant-in-common has an undivided share and interest in the property. He has an equal right to the possession of whole of the property but not a right to possess any part exclusively. A tenant-in-common may deal with his share of the property as he or she sees fit. A tenant-in-common may also hold unequal shares in property and therefore if no share is stated then the presumption is equal shares, that are 50/50.