When you purchase a property with another person you will be asked if you are joint tenants or tenants in common so it can be recorded on the certificate of title – but what does it really mean and what is the difference between joint tenants vs tenants in common?
This is where two or more people have purchased a property together and share equal ownership over the property. They each have have an equal undivided right to keep or dispose of the property as a whole only.
Most married couples have this type of home ownership as it creates a right of survivorship.
Tenants in Common
Unlike joint tenancy, this is where two or more people purchase a property together but each have a part interest in the property and can do what they see fit with their own share of the property but not the whole property.
The property is not physically divided and the shares are not always equal. The percentage split is laid out in the Certificate of Title for future reference.
Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common after I die?
If two or more people have purchased a property together as joint tenants, it creates a right of survivorship which means that if one owner passes away, their share is passed onto the other surviving owners without the need for probate.
However, if the property has been purchased as tenants in common it is a different story. This type of home ownership does not create a right of survivorship. If an owner passes away, their interest in the property passes according to the terms set out in their will. If the owner passes without a will then it is passed on according to the law in each State (for example, the Wills, Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW)).
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