Tax Glossary

Tenancy in Common

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Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

Tenancy in Common represents one way to hold ownership over property alongside others, often chosen by those buying or inheriting property collectively.

Defining Tenancy in Common

This form of property ownership is popular among non-marital partners, friends, or investors. Each party owns a distinct share of the property, which need not be equal. This setup permits individual owners to dispose of their share through sale or inheritance, providing a level of flexibility and personal control not found in joint tenancies.

Contrasting Tenancies: Common vs. Joint

The distinction between Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy hinges significantly on the rights conferred upon death and the distribution of ownership shares:

  • Tenancy in Common allows each party to own a distinct fraction of the property, which can be bequeathed to heirs as specified in a will.
  • Joint Tenancy, conversely, operates under the principle of survivorship, wherein the property automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) upon one's death, bypassing inheritance procedures.

Inheritance Tax Considerations for Tenants in Common

Inheritance Tax (IHT) implications are noteworthy for Tenants in Common. While estates valued under the £325,000 threshold are exempt, those above are taxed at 40%. However, the segmented ownership in a Tenancy in Common can offer strategic advantages for estate planning. Shares of the property transferred upon an owner's death may individually fall below the IHT threshold, potentially avoiding tax for heirs.

Practical Implications of Tenancy in Common

Choosing Tenancy in Common allows individuals to maintain personal agency over their property share, offering a strategic approach to co-ownership, particularly in scenarios of inheritance and estate planning.

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