Severance of Tenancy

Have your own share in your property

Severance of Tenancy

There is more to Will Writing than your last will and testament, and Nene Legal are more than just a will writing service, we’re Estate Planners. Before we can consider what planning is right for you, we need to understand just what you own and how you own it.

Do you know how you hold your property and what this means for your estate plan?

Our Consultants at Nene Legal can find out this crucial information for you as part of our estate planning service.

Joint tenants and Tenants in Common?

Most people who own a property with someone else own as ‘joint tenants’.

In this context ‘tenants’ means ‘owner’ and has nothing to do with renting!

If you own as joint tenants this means that you and the other owner don’t have your own separate share of the property. You actually each own 100% of it.

What this means practically is that if you die the property simply passes to the other owner automatically, regardless of anything you have written into your Will!

This is known as ‘survivorship’.


If you own as ‘tenants in common’ survivorship does not apply and you each have your own share in the property. This means you are free to do whatever you wish with your share of the property, which leaves you free to plan for it in your Will.

A lot of the planning we recommend at Nene Legal for protecting your property will begin with making sure you own as tenants in common.

Benefits of Tenants in Common

  • You each have your own share in the property
  • Shares can be unequal – this can be done to take account of one owner making a larger contribution to the purchase
  • Each owner has control over their own share and can gift it in their Will
  • Each owner can leave their share to a trust to protect it for their children
  • Avoids survivorship
  • If you divorce, the property won't pass to your former spouse automatically on your death
  • Can reduce inheritance tax (IHT) and care home fee liabilities
  • If you each own your own share of the property you can only be assessed on what you actually own.
  • If you die, you’ll only pay IHT on your actual share of the property.
  • If you need care, you can only be assessed on the share that you own.

Next Steps

The process of changing from joint tenants to tenants in common is relatively quick and unobtrusive.

The process is known as Severance.

At Nene Legal we can help you every step along the way, from initially enquiring with Land Registry to confirm how your property is held to completing all of the necessary paperwork for you and working with the Land Registry.

Going through a divorce? Other owner won’t agree to the Severance?

Ask us how we can help you resolve this.

Speak to our specialist team

We fully understand that although we try and cover as much as we can on our website.
There may be questions that we have not covered, if so feel free to
call our trained staff on 01933 588 990.