Property ownership

Jointly held property - what does it all mean?

Where two or more people own property together they can hold the property jointly in two ways: ‘joint tenants’ or 'tenants in common'.  

Joint tenancy


With 'joint tenants' neither of the owners own a specific share of the property but, rather, they each own an indivisible share of the property. The key feature of this type of ownership is the right of survivorship.


The right of survivorship means that if one of the owners were to die, that person’s interest in the property passes to the surviving co-owner(s) automatically. No action is required to vest the property in the survivor(s), as they are already entitled to the whole of the property.


The deceased's person's interest in the property cannot be inherited by the deceased's heirs, as the deceased owner did not own a distinct share of the property. In other words, you can't leave property held in this way under your Will.

Tenancy in common

If property is instead held as ‘tenants in common’, each owner has a distinct beneficial share in the property (usually 50:50 in the case of married couples and partners although not necessarily so).

If property is owned in this way, it enables the owners to pass their specified share of the property by their Will to a person of their choosing or, in some cases, to leave their share to a trust. 

If you'd like to discuss your particular situation in more detail, please contact us using the form below.