There are certainly plenty of different legal arrangements available when it comes to property ownership, and one of the more popular options is Joint Tenancy.
Indeed, if you currently own your home together with your partner or spouse, there’s a good chance your property is held under a joint tenancy agreement.
What Is A Joint Tenancy?
So what exactly does this term mean? At the simplest level, joint tenancy means that you and your partner both own the property together, in its entirety. This is unlike other types of property ownership agreements, which may specify that each owner possesses a given percentage or share.
With this equal status as owners, should one party in a joint tenancy agreement pass away, this means that the home will automatically become the sole property of the surviving partner, even if the deceased had stipulated otherwise in a will. There is plenty of general information on joint tenancy and other property issues available from the UK Government, including how to find out how you can check your property ownership details.
What About Severance Of Joint Tenancy?
Of course, there can be times when such an agreement is no longer the right choice for one or more of those involved. For example, if a couple should divorce or separate, or friends who bought together need to move on to buy further properties when they start a family of their own. In this case, you will need to carry out a severance of joint tenancy.
If your property has such an agreement already in place, one option is to contact Parachute Law for info on severance of joint tenancy. It’s possible to start the process without consulting the other owner or owners, by issuing them with a notice that complies with Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925, and is given in writing and in a valid form (a text message may not be appropriate on this occasion!) Make sure that the notice is properly addressed to the recipient. It is also worth having the notice sent by registered or recorded delivery so that you can be sure that it has arrived safely at the co-owner/s home or workplace.
Once you have served this notice, you can go ahead and also give notice to the Land Registry, who will make the relevant changes to the title deeds of your property. You don’t need to wait for your joint tenants to respond before you take this step.
After You Sever A Joint Tenancy
Once your process is complete, you can specify in your will that you wish your share of the property to be passed to your choice of beneficiary, rather than have the property automatically owned wholly by the surviving tenants. This is a particularly useful step to take in the case of a divorce or relationship breakdown.