Joint Ownership of Property - Selling your share


Joint Ownership of Property - Selling your share

Joint ownership of a property with someone else is often the only way to buy a home in today's housing market; but what happens when you want to sell the property? Sadly many Joint Ownership property sales end where the joint owners are separating from a relationship and this can cause a huge problem where one person wants to sell their share and one person doesn't. Add to this the disputes over who owns what and disagreements about what your original intentions were; the sale of a joint ownership home can be rather tricky. 

However, clever joint owners make sure to set out a legal agreement between themselves to ensure that each person's interest is protected and they can sell when they want to. A Joint Ownership Agreement like this can be drafted either before you move in, or afterwards. It is easier to draft the Joint Ownership Agreement before the you buy the property so that your intentions are clearly stated and agreed at the out as these may change after you purchase.

Get Expert help selling a Joint Ownership Property - Call our Joint Ownership Specialists on 0333 344 3234

What is Joint Ownership of Property

Joint Ownership of Property is where 2 to 4 people share the legal ownership of a property. It could be married couples, unmarried partners, friends or family jointly owning. When joint owners purchase a property they have to choose how they will legally jointly own it; Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

If you aren't sure whether you own your home as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common then for a fee of £3 you can check by viewing the owners on the Land Registry. Once you've checked you've selected the right property, if, as well as the names of all the Joint Property Owners, the entry on the register includes the words: "No disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorised by an order of the court", then you are tenants in common.

Selling a Joint Ownership Property - How to do it?

It all depends on how you originally purchased the property - either as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

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As joint tenants you both own 100% of the property together. This means that if you want to sell the property that you both have to agree to sell it. If you don't both agree then you will need to start a possibly lengthy and expensive litigation in order to get a sale through. 

As joint tenants you can protect against this eventuality by setting out in a legal document circumstances by which either party can agree to sell. The issue here is that as most joint tenants are married couples, it could feel a little pessimistic to be creating a document to protect yourself in the event of one person wanting to sell. On the other hand, married couples can potentially protect each other's well being by addressing how they can sell their home if their relationship did change - and with the statistic of 1 in 2 marriages failing you can see why many married couples are creating a Joint Ownership Agreement.

Selling as Tenants in Common

Joint Owning as Tenants in Common it is a lot easier to sell the property than as Joint Tenants because you each own a separate share of the property. There are some property experts that think every property should be purchased as Tenants in Common for this very reason. 

A tenant in common can sell their share in the property at any time; either by selling it to the other joint owner or by selling the whole property - even if the other joint owner doesn't want to. This is called a Force Sale. In order to force the sale, the joint owner looking to sell must apply to their local court for an "order for sale".

How to sell your joint property when you want to

To ensure you can sell your home when you want to you must have agreed to this with your joint owner and set out the terms in writing within a Joint Ownership Agreement. Within this agreement you can also set out: 

  • The amount of deposit you invested
  • How much you pay towards the mortgage repayments
  • What happens if your relationship breaks down
  • How much you will get from any increase in the property's value
  • What happens if a joint owner can't pay their share of the mortgage repayments

Buying without a Joint Ownership Agreement can mean that you don't have the right to sell when you want to and can mean a very costly legal battle in order to sell.

Read more about Joint Ownership Agreements or call our team of joint specialists on 0333 344 3234