It has nothing to do with renting a property, it the decision that needs to be made when two or more people are buying a property together. It refers to how they own the property. This will ultimately determine how the property is dealt with if one of the owners passes away.
Joint Tenancy is based on the principles of survivorship or how one’s property is to be dealt with if one of the owners dies. This means that on the death of one of the owners the surviving owner(s) automatically receive the deceased person’s share of the property.
Usually a death certificate is required to be lodged, with a Notice of Death to bring this about. However, it is automatic and occurs regardless of what their individual last will and testament may say.
Tenants in Common on the other hand, is where the owners may possibly want an individual share in the property with that share being disposed of by their will rather than that share automatically going to the survivors.
Under a joint tenancy, each owner has the same rights with the others regarding legal ownership, enjoyment, possession and sale of the property; in other words they all share together in the whole of the property equally, not in separate shares. Under a tenancy in common on the other hand, each owner has a separate and distinct share, and these shares may be different in size or percentage.
So, this is obviously an important decision to make. When the time comes for you to decide what’s best for you, make sure you talk to your solicitor or conveyancer and accountant to get further advice based on your individual needs and circumstances.