The purchaser is the person buying the property. If property is to be owned by two or more people (or other types of legal entities), it is important to decide before the contract is signed as to how the property will be held once it is transferred. The different types are set out below.
Property can be put in the name of the purchasers as joint tenants. In this case, if one dies the other automatically becomes the sole owner and a simple document registering the death of the deceased party results in the survivor obtaining full title to the property. Neither owner can sell the property (without coming to an arrangement with the other) or bequeath his or her share of the property to someone else. However, either owner can still deal with their own interest, for example, they can sell their share to someone else.
Tenants in Common
Property can also be put in the names of the purchasers as tenants in common. Under this arrangement, when one dies the survivor does not automatically become the owner of the property, as the deceased party is entitled to bequeath his or her share to someone else. This type of ownership is of advantage where a number of unassociated people are contributing unequal amounts to the purchase of the property. It is possible to describe the varying proportions which they have contributed and which they will ultimately own in the home.
Finally, the property can be put in the name of only one of the parties contributing to its purchase. This can lead to complications in the event of the death of one of the parties or if they separate, therefore legal advice should be sought by the party whose name is not to be placed on the certificate of title, whether that person is contributing in monetary terms or as a spouse or domestic partner of the purchaser.
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