Tenants in common agreement

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This co-ownership is for a single purpose - to separate the ownership of property between two or more owners for legal purposes. Use it either to separate out your joint interest or to set down different ownership shares, or both. Examples of situations in which you might use it include: if you are divorced or considering separation, or if you have bought a property with friends. In law, it converts a joint tenancy to a tenancy-in-common. It does not provide a management framework. See below for alternative documents covering management and other arrangements.
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  • Length:3 pages (400 words)
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Who should use this agreement

This agreement “severs” a joint tenancy, and sets out how the sale proceeds of real property will be split between the owners.

  • You may be married or in a relationship, and want to know that if you separate, when the property is sold you will each get out what you have put in.
  • You may be a couple, group of friends, brother and sister, or parent and child, buying a house together to get on the property ladder.

This document protects the individual interest of each owner. It does not cover property management.

The law on co-ownership of property

In law, the relationship of co-owners of property is either as “beneficial joint tenants” or as “tenants in common”. The term “tenant” has no connection with a tenant under a lease. Under either sort of tenancy, a joint owner can insist on a sale.

Usually, your conveyancer will draw the document transferring your property to you in words that make you “beneficial joint tenants”. That means:

  • You own the property equally.
  • When you sell, the proceeds will be divided equally, even if one of you has contributed more in the meantime.
  • If one of you dies, the other(s) automatically get his share - even if you are divorced or separated, and regardless of what you write in your will.

This document changes that.

About this tenants in common agreement

This agreement serves two purposes.

First it “severs the joint tenancy”, so that each owner owns an identifiable share. This could be 50:50, or it could be any other ratio. That is legally valid, but will not change pre-existing obligations, for example, who is responsible for repaying the mortgage.

Secondly, it sets out the arrangements for division of the proceeds of sale of the property. Depending on the circumstances, that will be legally binding between the owners, but may not be binding against a third party, like a trustee in bankruptcy.

The agreement enables you to choose the ownership proportions or make arrangements for changing the proportions. For example, you may want a gradual increase in the share of one owner who is paying off a mortgage or parent-lender.

After you have signed this agreement:

  • Your shares in the property are separate in law, so that a creditor of one cannot take the share of the other too.
  • When you sell, the net proceeds are divided in the shares you have agreed.
  • If one of you should die, that person’s share will pass according to his will or intestacy.

Similar documents

This document does not contain arrangements for managing your property because it may become a public document. We cover management arrangements very thoroughly in other documents. Have a look at:

Cohabitation (living together) agreement sets out living arrangements, such as responsibility for bills.

Depending on your relationship, you may also want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement or a separation agreement to set out ownership of other assets.

Agreement features and contents

  • Suitable for situations where there are up to four owners (the maximum allowed by law)
  • Provides for a joint tenancy to be ended and changed to a tenancy in common
Reviews of this document
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Recent reviews
Mr Evan
18 December 2019
Good basic documents true to their slogan of plain language law. Gets job done and easily modified.

Being the 2nd reviewer of the document I would entirely dismiss the comments made by Theresa.

This is a solid legal agreement for the intended purpose. Easy to purchase and immediately delivered.

If you are not aware, land titles provides the documentation required for you to change your land title. This agreement is a supplementary important item to better define your legal position, if required.
William Ratcliffe
18 May 2022
It was shorter than I expected and focused on ownership only, rather than including any elements related to co-habitation expectations or rules of conduct. We are looking for a Tenants in Common agreement between two couples. This template was a starting point. We will not be using this until we buy a house together. Then we will get into the details.
Janet Merriman
27 February 2022
The document achieved the goal of getting a legal agreement written up.
I would have preferred a little more header/footer embellishment but not a big deal.
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