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Owning Property with Others

Buying property is an important life decision. If you are purchasing property with another person, ensuring you get the right type of ownership agreement at the beginning of the process can ensure problems are prevented down the track if one owner wants to sell their share or dies.

The two most common types of ownership are Joint tenancy and tenants in common.

Joint tenancy
Each owner holds the same and equal interest as the other owners in the property.  Often married couples will purchase as a joint tenancy because of its survivorship rule. If one of the owners dies, ownership is automatically transferred to remaining owner(s) with no transfer duty being imposed. It doesn’t form part of the deceased person’s estate.

Tenants in Common
Each owner has separate and distinct shares of the property and do not have to be equal shares.  In a tenancy in common arrangement, if one owner dies their interest forms part of their deceased estate and doesn’t automatically pass on to the other owners. This usually occurs where the owners are unrelated or in second marriages where parties have their children from prior marriages to consider.

There are pros and cons of each type of ownership so it always advisable to speak with your lawyer and discuss which option would be best for your circumstances.

For more information call our property lawyers ( Michael, Andrew or Daniel) on 5440 4800.

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