Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

When buying a property with someone else, your conveyancer will ask you whether you want to hold the property “As joint tenants” or “Tenants in Common” – what is the difference?

Tenants in common own a property having separate individual shares, e.g. 60:20:20% or 50:25:25% etc.  Often, each person has a fractional  share in proportion to the contribution they have provided towards the purchase price.  If you purchase a property as “Tenants in Common”, upon any owner’s death, their share will be distributed in accordance with the deceased’s owners Will. The owner can also give his share to another person by way of gift or monetary compensation whilst he is alive.   If there is no will when that particular owner dies, the fractional share is distributed according to the rules that apply upon intestacy.


Joint tenancy is a method of owning property with a number of owners on the title deed. With joint tenancy upon the death of one of the joint tenants, their share goes automatically to the other joint tenant. This rule of survivorship will apply irrespective of what the deceased notes in their will.  It is the usual method when spouses buy a house together.


DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this document is general in nature and provided as reference material only. This information is not specific legal advice about the application of the law to a particular fact scenario, nor does it replace (or purport to replace) any requirement to obtain specific legal advice. If you require specific legal advice about your own position in relation to anything covered in this document, that advice should always be obtained from a qualified legal practitioner.

© 2017 bytherules Holdings Pty Ltd