There are two ways to jointly own a property: as joint tenants, and as tenants in common. If you and your partner bought your home together, you will have decided on the kind of ownership you wanted at the time. Your decision has important implications for what happens to the house after you die. And, if you want to pass on your share to someone other than your partner, it’s important to know where you stand.
If you’re joint tenants, you and your partner jointly own your whole property. This means that you don’t have specific ‘shares’, and if one of you dies, the surviving partner will become the sole owner. This takes precedence over whatever it says about your property in your will. Tenants in common, on the other hand, have percentage shares that will be specified in their deeds. These shares can be left to anyone and won’t necessarily go to a partner. It’s possible to sever a joint tenancy and become tenants in common.
If you want to change the way your home is owned, Which? Legal’s team of experts can guide you through the process. We’ll help you find out how your home is owned and explain what it means. Then, if you’d like to make a change, we can talk you through how the process works and what you’ll need to do.
All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.