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joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership whereby all the owners are together seen as a single entity

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Land Law Seminar Essay 2 "While from a conveyancing point of view, there are distinct advantages to the property being held on a joint tenancy... the doctrine of survivorship may produce results which are unfair or inopportune...One is left with the position that convenience favours the joint tenancy and fairness the tenancy in common. The 1925 legislation sought to distinguish between the position at law and in equity." Mark Thompson, Modern Land Law, 2nd Edition, Page 285. Discuss What is a joint tenancy? A joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership whereby all the owners are together seen as a single entity, it is said that collectively they own the entire interest in the land but individually own nothing. However this has been criticised in Burton v Camden Borough Council1. The importance of the above statement is seen when one of the joint tenants dies as they have nothing to leave to their heirs this is known as ius accrescendi of the right of survivorship. This is one of the most significant parts of the joint tenancy as it means that the last surviving joint tenant holds the land absolutely whilst the pre-deceased joint tenants will have left nothing to their heirs. ...read more.


A final advantage of the joint tenancy is that it is more flexible as it can be converted to a tenancy in common at any time by an act of severance. This is especially an advantage at times where relationships break down. What are the key advantages of a tenancy in common? The main advantage of the tenancy in common is that it is the most fair form of co-ownership, this is why equity prefers the tenancy in common mainly because the right of survivorship does not apply therefore for example a co-owner who puts only 10% of the purchase price towards the property does not become to sole trustee based simply on the fact that they have lived longer than the other trustees. There also seems to be some tax savings in holding land this way. Another advantage of the tenancy in common is that each tenant in common has their own individual share in the land which means that they can convey it to a purchaser or leave it to their heirs and this is due to the fact that the right of survivorship does not apply. Is it possible to change from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common? ...read more.


This makes the situation fairer for beneficiaries under non-statutory trusts. TLATA also makes some other changes which improve upon the provisions in the 1925 legislation this is that the doctrine of conversion has been abolished though overreaching will still apply11 and that there is an avoidance of the duty to sell12. Conclusions Overall, we can see that it is more convenient to hold the land as joint tenants especially from a conveyancing point of view but more fair to hold land as tenants in common. However, we can see that the right of survivorship does have many advantages but it is main vice of unfairness is still present. The 1925 legislation has made a good compromise between the two as apart of fulfilling their key objectives. However, there were some large problems which were mostly solved by TLATA. 1 [2000]1 All ER 947 2 (1988)56 P & CR 120 3 [1983]1 WLR 1203 4 [1998]4 ALL ER 650 5 (1861)1 John & H 546 6 [1975]Ch 429 7 [1990]1 ALL ER 717 8 S.1(6)LPA 1925 9 S.34(2)Trustee Act 1925 10 [1987]3 ALL ER 443 11 S.3 TLATA 1996 12 S.4 TLATA 1996 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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