There are 2 types of ownership when buying a property with another person: joint tenancy and tenancy in common.

When you own property as a joint tenant, you own the whole of the property together with the other joint tenant and a right of survivorship applies. This means that when a joint tenant dies, the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant and the property does not form part of the deceased’s estate. This is a common form of ownership between spouses.

When you own property as a tenant in common, it means you own defined shares in the property which can be equal or unequal. The shares of a tenant in common can be dealt with separately. There is no right of survivorship, meaning the shares can form part of the deceased’s estate and will pass according to the owner’s will or succession laws. This is a common form of ownership for investors or spouses with children from previous relationships.

It is important therefore when purchasing property to ensure you have your estate in order and your will is updated.