Is it better to be tenants in common and joint tenants?

Tenancy in common is a principle of property law in Australia that allows two or more people to own property together. Unlike joint tenancy, each party can bequeath his or her interest through their will to beneficiaries of their choosing instead of to the other co-owners.

Tenants in common can own land in equal or unequal shares. It is a more flexible form of property ownership and a co-owner’s rights and obligations can be set out in a co-ownership agreement to ensure the parties are clear about the parameters of the co-purchase.

Joint tenants together own the entire interest in the property, but as individuals they own nothing. If one party dies, their share is transmitted automatically to the remaining owner.

Joint tenants have rights of survivorship: if one tenant dies then the surviving joint tenant takes the whole property.

Further explanation is provided in our Free Co-Ownership Guide.