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Co-Ownership of Property

Are you thinking about buying a property together with someone else?

Co-ownership of property is very common but it can also lead to complications.

The law recognises two types of co-ownership, joint tenancy and tenancy in common.  When you buy property, you need to specify which type of co-ownership applies.

Joint tenants own property equally.  If one of them dies, their share passes directly to the surviving owner or owners and does not form part of their estate to be distributed under their will.

Tenants in common own specified shares of the property.  Those shares can be equal or unequal. When a tenant in common dies, their share forms part of their estate to be distributed in accordance with their will.

Some of the other issues that co-owners should consider include:

·         who is to occupy the property?;

·         how are the payment of outgoings being met?;

·         what happens if one owner wants to sell their share before another is ready?;

·         how will disputes between co-owners about such matters be resolved?

It’s wise for co-owners to sign a formal agreement about such matters before they buy the property. If they have to ask a court to resolve a dispute for them it can be a very expensive exercise.

If you have any queries about the differences between joint tenants and tenants in common or any other aspect of purchasing property, please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or [email protected].

Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial lawyers and property lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.

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