Changing from ‘tenants in common’ to ‘joint tenants’
If your current mortgage arrangement with your property co-owner is as tenants in common, and you are looking to change that setup to joint tenants instead, there is a process in place and steps to take.
Why you might change the terms
You might want to change from separately owning a portion of the same property to fully committing to owning the property equally together. Perhaps you have gotten married and want to have the benefits of owning a home as one single family unit.
There are many other reasons and circumstances as to why you might prefer to be joint tenants (which actually means ‘joint owners’), and here is how you begin the process:
How to legally become joint tenants
Everyone must be in agreement to make the change, and these are the steps you need to take:
- Get some legal representation to help you: From a specialist solicitor or conveyancer
- Cancel your current agreement as tenants in common by completing the following official government form: Cancel a restriction (RX3)
- Prepare your supporting documents: An original or copy of the new or updated trust deed, signed by all owners; a copy of the transfer of shares to joint ownership; conveyancer certificate to prove new trust deed has been signed.
Include either: a statutory declaration prepared by conveyancer OR a ‘statement of truth’ using this form: ST5.
- Send your application to the HM Land Registry.
Your documents must declare that only the named joint owners have shares in the property, that none of the owners are being made bankrupt or have other pending financial implications, and that all the ‘joint owners now own the property together as beneficial joint tenants’. You can find more details on the government website.
Are there risks involved with becoming joint owners?
If you are at the stage of looking into making this legal alteration to your mortgage together, you will no doubt have already thought through the implications. Mainly this is that you will no longer have your own share protected. You will not be able to pass your portion on in your will and in the eyes of the law you will both (or all) own the property equally, as a single entity. All responsibility falls to everyone and so do the benefits.
Can you change from joint tenants to tenants in common?
Yes, it is possible to do it this way around too. This can occur if there has been a relationship separation or perhaps another reason why you would want to portion off the ownership of the same property. For example, maybe you have decided you want to leave your share of your home to each of your respective children, or if you don’t want an older partner’s care home fees to swallow the entire home’s equity. You can find out more in this official government guidance.
Read more about what joint tenants vs tenants in common means in our guide.