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Severing Joint Tenancy

Beneficial interests in property when held by more than one person, must be held either as ‘joint tenants’ (both you and the other joint tenant own the entire property jointly), or as ‘tenants in common’, where each owns a specified part of the property.

If you split up it is unlikely that they would wish your estranged partner or spouse to automatically take your “share” in the property if you were to die. If there are two owners they will hold half each unless specified otherwise. You should therefore sever the joint tenancy and become tenants in common, until such time as the property is sold or transferred from one party to the other.

You will know if your current type of ownership is a tenancy in common as the following wording will be present in the B section of the Title Register:-

RESTRICTION: 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 Registrar or the court.

If the above wording is not present then the type of joint ownership you have is a beneficial joint tenancy.

Converting a joint tenancy involves preparation and service of a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy and then the registration of a Restriction at HM Land Registry, in accordance with section 36(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925.  The consent of the other joint owner is not necessary but they should countersign it as acknowledgement.

Once severed, notice of the severance needs to be given to HM Land Registry in order that a restriction may be placed upon the title to the property to prevent sale in the event of your death.

REA Solution Consultancy Ltd can help you give notice of severance of a joint tenancy by preparing your notice based on the information you give us.  The Land Registry registration notice will then be sent to you for signature before service.


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