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Tenants in common: when one wants to sell

Property sharing agreements are becoming more prevalent as individuals seek certainty of outcomes, where unforeseen circumstances intervene after property purchases. The form of property ownership known as ‘tenancy in common’ is becoming more popular due to this. This form of ownership enables an individual to have control over the share of the property they are a part owner of, to the extent that they can decide who they wish to take over their share in the event they die or for any other reason they choose.

If the owners of a property are tenants in common that wish to go their separate ways, the party wishing to remain as the property owner, on the face of it does not have to agree to sell, thereby thwarting the wish of the other owner(s) to sell. This is where a Property Sharing Agreement (“PSA”) is useful. Signed and agreed before the purchase of the property, the PSA provides paths and processes to allow an exit strategy to exist for any of the owners, in the event they wish to exit the property as owner.

The PSA includes details such as what each of the parties contributed, agree what each of them contributed to the purchase price, how much lending was obtained and if the undivided shares are unequal. It also includes who may give notice of wanting to sell, how a price value may be determined, what timeframes are deemed reasonable and what constitutes a net share of the profit to be paid out in the proportions agreed upon.

Your lawyer can talk you through a PSA and have one drawn up to ensure your future planning is safeguarded in the event that property owners decide to go their separate ways.

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