top of page
Notice of Severance for joint tenancy with RG Law

Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy

Top of The Page

When you purchase a property with another person, you can hold it in one of two ways: as tenants in common or as joint tenants. While both options have their own advantages, joint tenancy can be particularly beneficial when it comes to estate planning.


However, if you're considering severing a joint tenancy due to a relationship breakdown or for tax purposes, there are important legal considerations to keep in mind before you serve a notice of severance. This is where RG Law comes in.

At RG Law, we understand that navigating property law can be complex and overwhelming. That's why we've created this webpage to provide you with the 9 things you need to know about severance of joint tenancy. Our team of experienced property lawyers will break down the key concepts and provide clear explanations to help you understand the notice of severance process.

Whether you're looking to sell your share of the property, leave it to someone specific in your will, or make other changes to your ownership arrangement, a notice of severance can help you achieve your goals. However, it's important to understand the legal implications before taking action with your other joint tenant. By working with RG Law, you can ensure that your interests are protected and your severance of joint tenancy is executed smoothly.

1) What’s The Difference Between Joint Tenants & Tenants In Common?

The difference between joint tenancy and tenancy in common lies in the way each individual's rights to a property are handled. Joint tenants are considered joint owners with equal ownership share in the eyes of the land registry, whereas with tenancy in common, parties can own unequal shares of a property. It is important for individuals to understand this distinction when making decisions about which option is best suited for their needs.

As far as passing on ownership after death, joint tenants must give up all rights to the property upon death while tenants in common may leave behind whatever portion they owned at that time. This could be useful if an individual wants to pass down specific portions of land or money associated with it.

The New House

​When considering these two options, one should also take into account how easy it would be to break away from either agreement if circumstances changed over time. For example, with joint tenancy it’s more difficult than with tenancy in common since any tenant has the right to sell his/her interest without needing permission from the other joint owner or co owners. On the flip side, however, breaking away from a tenancy in common will require additional paperwork and potential legal fees depending on the situation.

TIP: When deciding between joint tenants and tenancy in common agreements, assess your goals and decide which type of arrangement better suits those objectives both now and in the future.

2) What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Joint Tenancy?

Joint tenancy can also simplify estate planning. By holding property as joint tenants, individuals can ensure that their share of the property goes directly to their co-owner(s) upon their death, without the need for a will or other estate planning documents.

However, being joint tenants also comes with risks. One risk is that the property could be subject to the creditors of one of the owners. If one owner incurs debts, creditors could potentially go after the property to satisfy those debts. Additionally, if one owner decides to sell their share of the property, the other owner(s) may not have the right of first refusal, and the property could end up being sold to a third party.

Overall, joint tenancy can be a useful tool for property ownership and estate planning, but it's important to weigh the benefits and risks before choosing this option. It's always a good idea to consult with a qualified lawyer or solicitor to ensure that joint tenancy is the right choice for your specific situation.

3) What Are The Benefits And Risks Of Tenancy In Common?

Tenancy in common offers a different kind of arrangement than being joint owners. It has its own unique benefits and risks to consider, so let’s dive into what those are.

First off, some of the advantages include:

Couple's Portrait

• The ability to pass ownership rights on to family members or other individuals upon death;

• Flexibility for each tenant to have specific interests in certain portions of the property;

• Each individual can sell their interest without permission from the other tenants; and

• Allowance of unequal contributions towards rental income, mortgage payments and upkeep costs.

Alongside these potential positives come a few drawbacks as well. These include:

• Tenants cannot inherit any portion of the property after one passes away unless specifically stated in a will;

• Unequal and beneficial interest in agreements may cause complications if an owner decides they want to leave or is forced out by another co-owner;

• Additional paperwork must be completed compared with joint tenancy setup; and

• A tenant’s creditors may seek legal action against them for debts owed which could affect all parties involved.

These pros and cons should be thoroughly discussed before committing to a tenancy in common agreement. Though there are many things to think about regarding this type of real estate situation, it can provide important opportunities that would not otherwise be available under joint tenancy terms.

4) How Can I Sever Joint Tenancy?

Understanding the difference between being joint tenants and tenants in common is vital for making informed decisions, as is knowing how to sever a joint tenancy if necessary. Severing a joint tenant situation means that each individual involved can no longer claim ownership of the property or its associated benefits. You have to make sure that there is an agreement between the co-owners and that you have sourced all other owner's agreements before proceeding with a notice of severance. Here are some steps one should take when seeking to break away from such an agreement.

First, consult with a lawyer or solicitor who understands property law, as they can provide advice on filing the appropriate paperwork. Secondly, follow all instructions your lawyer or solicitor outlines and ensure everything is filed correctly with local authorities and land registry. Finally, once all documents have been signed and submitted, it’s important to notify any remaining co-owners about the change in status. This way, everyone is aware of their new rights and responsibilities going forward.

With these measures taken, individuals may now move ahead with more knowledge and confidence regarding separating themselves from a shared ownership arrangement.

5) Do I Need A Will Or A Will Review As Part Of The Severance Of Joint Tenancy?

The legal process of severing a joint tenancy can be complex and time-consuming as it involves even the land registry and might require a trip to the land registry's citizen centre.


Before beginning the process, it’s wise to consult with a lawyer or solicitor who specialises in property law as well as consider getting a will or will review. A properly executed will or will review ensures that all parties involved are aware of their rights and responsibilities when separating from a shared ownership arrangement.

A good example is William, who wanted to separate himself from his brother's joint tenants in their family home but was unaware of how best to do so. After consulting with a lawyer, he realised that he needed a will to make sure all his interests were legally protected before proceeding with the breakaway.


With this knowledge, William pursued the necessary steps to create a contractually binding document that would ensure he could move forward without any complications.

Legal Consultant

The legal process of severing a joint tenancy can be complex and time-consuming as it involves even the land registry and might require a trip to the land registry's citizen centre. Before beginning the process, it’s wise to consult with a lawyer or solicitor who specialises in property law as well as consider getting a will or will review. A properly executed will or will review ensures that all parties involved are aware of their rights and responsibilities when separating from a shared ownership arrangement.

A good example is William, who wanted to separate himself from his brother's joint tenants in their family home but was unaware of how best to do so. After consulting with a lawyer, he realised that he needed a will to make sure all his interests were legally protected before proceeding with the breakaway. With this knowledge, William pursued the necessary steps to create a contractually binding document that would ensure he could move forward without any complications.

When considering breaking away from joint tenancy, having access to reliable advice and guidance can help streamline the entire process. An experienced professional can provide invaluable insight into making such decisions confidently and responsibly.

6) What Is The Process To Sever The Joint Tenancy?

First, it is essential to understand the legal implications of severing a joint tenancy. Depending on state laws and the details of your situation, there may be certain documents that need to be filed with the local court or county recorder’s office in order to make the split official. Furthermore, all parties involved must agree before any action to sever joint tenancy can be taken; otherwise, one party may have no choice but to go through formal litigation.

Second, once everything is determined and agreed upon between all parties, both sides will need to sign appropriate paperwork noting their intent to dissolve the agreement. It is important for each person to keep copies of these documents as proof of termination in case they ever need them later down the line. Additionally, depending on how title was initially held (as tenants-in-common or community property), other steps such as filing an Affidavit of Death Concerning Joint Tenancy might also need completing.

Finally, after all legal requirements are met and all necessary forms signed off by everyone involved, then—and only then —can ownership officially be severed from a joint tenancy arrangement.

7) Can I Sever The Joint Tenancy Myself?

Severing a joint tenancy is not always a simple process. Understanding the legal requirements and implications of breaking away can help ensure that all parties involved are protected and all obligations are met.


With this in mind, here are 4 key things to consider before attempting to break:

1) Make sure you understand your rights under state law when it comes to jointly owned property.

2) Check with a lawyer or solicitor familiar with property law for any advice or guidance regarding your situation.

3) Gather all supporting documents related to the joint ownership agreement so that they can be reviewed by both yourself and your lawyer if needed.

4) Consider getting a will or will review before signing any agreements or paperwork associated with severing the joint tenancy.

Taking these steps can provide peace of mind, knowing that everything has been adequately taken care of and no issues arise down the road. It’s also wise to look into what costs may be associated with severing the joint tenancy; understanding potential fees ahead of time helps prepare financially as well as make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities during the process.

8) What Are The Costs For Severing The Joint Tenancy?

Before beginning the process of severing a joint tenant agreement and serving a notice of severance, it's important to be aware of any costs that may be associated with doing so. Depending on the specifics of your situation and state laws, you could incur certain fees or charges related to breaking away from the agreement. Here are some potential costs to consider:

• Legal Fees – If a lawyeror solicitor is consulted for advice regarding severance, their services will likely come at a cost.

• Property Taxes – In most cases, property taxes need to be paid in full before splitting ownership.

• Transfer Fees – Any transfer of title between parties must include payment of applicable filing fees.

Additionally, if money is still owed on a mortgage after the split, each party must make arrangements to pay off their share according to their new responsibilities. Being prepared financially can help ensure no surprises arise during the process and all obligations are met promptly. With these considerations in mind, let’s take a look at what goes into actually executing the separation itself.

9) What Are The Advantages with the Severance of Joint Tenancy?

With a successful severance of the joint tenancy, there can be many advantages for all parties involved. Firstly, it allows each individual to have full control over their own portion of the asset, meaning they are free to make decisions about selling or transferring their ownership without needing consent from anyone else. This is especially beneficial if one party wants to pass on their interest to someone else through inheritance or gifting for tax purposes.

Another advantage is that with the termination of a joint tenancy comes increased financial security and safety for both parties. Without being tied together in this way, any debts accrued by either side will remain solely within their responsibility, thus avoiding potential liabilities between them should anything arise down the line. Furthermore, while previously under a joint tenancy agreement, each person had equal rights to use and enjoy the property as intended—with severance, those same benefits no longer exist so there’s less risk of issues arising concerning usage or enjoyment of the asset.

Overall, executing a severance of joint tenancy may provide numerous benefits depending on your unique situation. When done correctly and legally binding documents are signed off by all parties, everyone involved can feel secure knowing that each has achieved autonomy over their respective asset share and will not be held financially responsible for the other's actions going forward.

Additional FAQ around Severance of joint tenancy

Is There A Time Limit For Severing A Joint Tenancy?

As any tenant knows, understanding the terms of a joint tenancy is essential for an equitable agreement. But what happens when one party wants to end their role in the contract? Is there a time limit for severing a joint tenancy?

The answer depends on each individual situation and can involve multiple factors; however, there are some general guidelines that you should be aware of before making your decision. Let’s look at these in more detail:

* Time Limit: Depending on where you live, laws may stipulate how much notice must be given by either tenant when they decide to terminate the agreement. Generally speaking, most states have regulations requiring a minimum amount of days or weeks prior written notice (i.e. 7 days). However, this period can vary depending on local rules and/or if both parties agree to waive the notification requirement altogether.

* Alternative Options: If it isn't possible to give adequate notice due to extenuating circumstances, then tenants could consider alternative options such as subleasing or assigning their rights under the lease. These solutions allow them to transfer responsibility for payment with no penalty from themselves or landlord while still honouring the initial contract's terms.

In addition, tenants should also understand all applicable legal remedies so they know their rights during negotiations over termination of tenancy agreements - which include everything from staying financially liable until new arrangements have been worked out and filing suit against other involved parties if necessary—allowing them make informed decisions moving forward.

Are There Any Tax Implications To Severing A Joint Tenancy?

When severing a joint tenancy, it is important to consider any potential tax implications that may arise. As with most types of income or asset ownership, taxes can become complicated when one party separates their interest in the property. This article will discuss some of the potential tax ramifications associated with severing a joint tenancy.

One issue to be aware of is capital gains tax. Any profit made from the sale of jointly owned real estate is subject to taxation under current laws. If both parties decide to split up and sell their share of the property, they must pay any applicable long-term capital gains taxes on the amount over what was originally paid for the house. Additionally, if either partner decides to keep their portion of the property, they may also incur additional taxes related to transferring title deeds and other administrative costs associated with making changes in ownership status.

It's also important to remember that each state has different requirements when it comes to filing taxes after terminating a joint tenancy agreement. Certain states require an affidavit specifying how much each party received during the dissolution process, as well as records indicating who took possession of which assets at what time. It's essential for all involved parties to familiarise themselves with these regulations before taking any action so that no surprises come up down the line.

Taking into account all relevant tax information prior to severing a joint tenancy could save money and hassle later on in life. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that individuals consult an experienced accountant or legal advisor before signing off on any agreements relating to joint real estate ownership transfers.

Is It Possible To Reverse The Severance Of A Joint Tenancy?

Is it possible to reverse the severance of a joint tenancy? This is an important question for anyone considering ending a joint tenancy. When two or more people are listed on the lease, then they have become tenants jointly and must remain so until one party serves notice that the tenancy has been terminated. However, when this happens there may be occasion where reversing this decision could be beneficial for all parties involved.

In some cases, cancelling a termination of lease can be as simple as both parties agreeing to continue with their previous arrangement and signing a new agreement. It's also possible in certain situations that a landlord might agree to reinstate the original agreement if they feel they will benefit from having multiple tenants living at their property once again.

It is important to note that not every situation is going to allow for reversal of the termination of the lease; each case should be looked at individually before making any decisions about continuing with the existing tenancy or terminating it completely. Discussion between all parties involved should take place in order to decide whether reverting back to the prior arrangement would work best for everyone concerned. Depending on the details surrounding why a tenant wanted out initially, alternative solutions such as sub-letting or transferring responsibility over to another person could potentially provide an acceptable solution without necessitating full cancellation of the current contract.

If you would like us to contact you to discuss a notice to severance or how to set up a mutual agreement on a joint ownership form please get in touch.

If you want to know more, click here to  get in touch. Or you may require one of our Wills and Probate services. See below.

"As the old saying goes, 'Failing to plan is planning to fail.' And there's no room for error when protecting your assets and ensuring they're distributed as per your wishes after you're gone. That's where having a will comes into play – and not just any will but one drafted by a specialist wills lawyer.

We delve into why having a will is crucial, what could go wrong if you don't have one, and the role of a qualified lawyer or solicitor in this process. We'll also explore the risks associated with DIY wills and the importance of secure storage for your valuable documents"

Wills and probate image_edited.jpg

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died. A Grant of Representation is required to give you the legal right to deal with the deceased’s assets. 

An asset can be anything from a gold watch to a property if there is a property to be sold to enable the distribution of liquid assets among beneficiaries. A grant of probate is required, granting you the legal authority to proceed with the property sale. 

Navigating the world of legal documents can feel like trying to decipher an alien language. But when it comes to safeguarding your future, understanding lasting power of attorney (LPA) is crucial. Our wills and probate lawyers are experts and can provide advice that can make all the difference to your and your family's future.

This legal document allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity in the future. 

LPA Lasting Power of Attorney
Inheritance Image

Inheritance tax is an important topic for anyone who may be receiving an inheritance in the future.


Whether the inheritance is coming from a spouse or civil partner, family member, or life insurance policy, it is essential to understand how much you may have to pay and what exemptions are available regarding inheritance tax. 


In all cases, a lawyer or solicitor specialising in this area of law is the key to getting the best advice.

There may come a time in our lives when we lack the capacity to make decisions for ourselves, maybe due to an unexpected illness, accident, disability or dementia.  This is where your lasting power of attorney (LPA) provides you peace of mind; like your car insurance, it's in the drawer, and you hope your loved ones will never have to use it. 

However, if you are seeking help, support and advice on how you are going to help a friend or family member by becoming a deputy for them because they do not have an LPA in place, we can advise on a possible Court of Protection Deputyship.

Notice of Joint Tennancy Serverence Get in Touch

bottom of page