Should you buy as joint tenants or tenants in common?

When you buy a property with another person or multiple other people, you will need to decide whether you want to do so as joint tenants or tenants in common. Although both types of tenancy have legal status, there are differences between them that reflect the nature of your relationship with the individual(s) you are buying with and your legal position concerning the property.

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What are the differences between these ownership structures?

With a joint tenancy, each tenant has the same right to the property and each has to agree to its sale. The shares of the property are automatically transferred to the other tenant in the event of death, so the asset cannot be left to anyone else in their will. A joint mortgage is needed for this form of ownership. It can be ended through a formal severance of joint tenancy, carried out by a solicitor such as

With a tenancy in common, tenants can own different shares of the property, must all agree to its sale, individual shares can be left to other people in the tenant’s will, and – in theory – it is not necessary to have a joint mortgage.

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Which ownership structure is best?

There is no ‘best’ ownership structure, as the right type for you will depend on who you are buying the property with and the nature of your relationship. A solicitor is usually the best option for working out which option will be best for your needs.

A joint tenancy tends to be preferred by married couples, whereas groups of buyers tend to prefer the tenants in common option. In each case, the correct paperwork and legal structure must be in place for the tenancy to be valid.

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