Most people own property under ‘joint tenants’. You are a tenant of the Queen but most people are joint tenants under Freehold title i.e. you don’t pay any ground rent – this freehold title was usually granted many years ago.
Joint tenants for a couple means you jointly own the whole of the property. If one of you dies, the survivor still owns the whole of the property.
Compared to Tenants in Common – imagine a red line is drawn down the middle of the property. You own half and your partner owns the other half.
To change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common – you need to complete a ‘Severance of Joint Tenancy Deed’ as well as Land Registry documentation to have a Form A restriction placed upon the property in the title deeds.
Given social care means testing, we still believe that severing joint tenancy to become tenants in common is a valid financial planning and asset protection tool despite favourable changes to inheritance tax limits.