Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common


A frequent question we are asked is as to whether a married couple own their property as joint tenants or as tenants in common. This is a simple question but the answer is munched up in legal jargon, and difficult for an ordinary “man or woman in the street” to answer.

The Title Register

The answer to the question is found where it is expected to be found, but hidden in the language of law. You should look at Section B of your Title Register.

Tenancy in Common Restriction

A Restriction is a legal device for qualifying the ownership of a property by preventing its sale without the consent of each owner. When a property is jointly owned, upon registration, and in the absence of an application for a Restriction to be entered in the Register to give effect to the tenancy in common, the default position is that the property is registered as an equitable joint tenancy. Unfortunately, there is no indication in plain and simple terms that the property is owned as a joint tenancy.

A Tenancy in Common has to be Applied For

A Tenancy in Common can be created by a Deed of Trust, which sets out the respective percentage shares in the property. The solicitors acting will submit an application to the Land Registry using Form RX1. It can also be created by Severing the Joint Tenancy, in which case Form SEV will be sent to the Land Registry. These forms are a request to the Land Registry to register a Tenancy in Common.

In the B section of the Title Register the appropriate Restriction to give legal effect to a Tenancy in Common is indicated by the following wording:

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.


So the above wording is what you must look for to determine if there is a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common. In the absence of the above wording the property will be registered as a joint tenancy.

For more information please see our Difference between Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common article.

Title Register

The Land Registry Title Register holds data relating to the property ownership, purchase price, mortgage, tenure, covenants, rights of way, leases and class of title.


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Title Plan

The Title Plan shows an outline of the property and its immediate neighbourhood, and uses colours to identify rights of way, general boundaries and land affected by covenants.


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Conveyancing Deeds

Deeds creating Restrictions, Covenants, Easements, etc. are often kept digitally by the Land Registry and made available for sale due to their invaluable detail and content to assist in further understanding the Restrictions, etc.


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