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Is Your Tenancy Right For You and Your Partner?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When purchasing a property it is important to discuss with your partner how you wish to hold it i.e. joint tenants or as tenants in common.

It is important that you understand the differences between the two before deciding how you wish to hold your property as it will have an impact should either of you pass away or need long term care.

Purchasing a home as Joint Tenants means you will own the property equally i.e. 50:50.  The benefit of this is that if one joint owner dies, then the ownership of the whole property passes to the survivor irrespective of what your Will says.

Also, if you both wish to sell the property in theory the property monies are split equally between the two owners; the downside to this is if one person should need to go into care and is unable to meet care fees.  The local authority can place what is known as a Charge on the whole of the property meaning that any funds due to the local authority will be paid once the property is sold.

This is called deferred payment i.e. If you do have to sell your property, the local authority may offer you a deferred payment agreement meaning that you will not need sell your property immediately; meaning they will loan you the money to cover your fees and reclaim it when the property is eventually sold.

It is important to note that couples do not have to be married to take advantage of this option.

Purchasing your property as Tenants in Common means that you will each own a percentage of the property.  It could be 50:50, 60:40 or even 70:30 and it is important that you enter into a formal Declaration of Trust setting out how the property is to be held and how, if the property is sold, the net proceeds of any sale will be split.  Also you will need to ensure you have made a provision in your Will dealing with your share of the property on your death.

Should one of you need to go into care the local authority can only place a charge on the percentage of the property held by that person and therefore this will not affect the whole property.  Also, should you have children from a previous relationship you can protect their interest by leaving them the legal right to your share of the property whilst your new partner has the right to remain within the property despite half of it being owned by your children.

If you need any advice on Future Planning speak to our Specialist Team.

Jacqui Headley


Jacqui Headley

Private Client Assistant

Jacqui has been a member of the Private Client team for some six years dealing mainly with Wills, Probates and Lasting Powers of Attorney.