What is the difference between joint tenancy and tenants in common?

Sep 6, 2023 | Publication

When there are two or more owners of property, a common question is – what is the difference between joint tenancy and tenants in common?

For instance, when there are two owners of a piece of real estate, the property can be owned as joint tenants or tenants in common.

If the property is owned as joint tenants, the owners has a right of survivorship.  This means that is one owner dies, the property automatically vests in the surviving owner.  Typically, husbands and wives own property as joint tenants.

Tenancy in common involve co-owners of a property in defined shares that need not be equal.  For instance, Fred, John and Mary can each be tenants in common owners of a property, with Fred owning 40%, John owning 30% and Mary owning 30%.  If Mary dies, her share will not pass to Fred or John unless her Will provides for this.

Owners as tenants in common can require the other owners to appoint trustees to sell the property.

Owners as joint tenants can take steps to severe the joint tenancy.

For legal advice regarding your rights and responsibilities please contact McAuley Lawyers on (02) 9633 1826 or email reception@mcauleylawyers.com.au

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