Tenants in common agreement

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Document overview

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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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
Sample tenants in common agreementFront cover

Recent reviews

Great Service
12 March 2024
No concerns about using your service. Most important single feature for me was how easy and simple it was to use. Was very reassured after using your service .
Would highly recommend as it does exactly what it says using easy to understand language from a lay persons point of view. Thank you to all involved at Net Lawman. Daniel Doyle
Daniel Doyle
Review of the Ireland version
Great Service
23 December 2023
My biggest concern was that the document would contain "Legal Speak" and be hard to understand. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was written clearly and concisely with easy to understand language.
I decided to buy from Net Lawman because the document was easily able to be edited to precisely what I needed, thus saving me the time and inconvenience of contacting a Lawyer to prepare everything.
The ease of it being able to be edited to include the conditions and terms required for my situation.
I have benefited by not having to employ a Lawyer to prepare the same document.
I thoroughly recommend Net Lawyer to anybody who requires easy to understand documents and advice in a hurry.
Dr. Douglas Majors
Douglas Majors
Review of the New Zealand version
Tailored Solution
22 August 2022
A great template that was easy to modify for our needs. Keep up the good work.
David Scott Stokes
Review of the Australian version
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