Beneficial ownership is of two types joint tenants and tenants in common. If they are joint tenants, then the property cannot be sold without the agreement of the joint tenants. If the property is owned as tenants in common, each of them will have a share in the property that they can dispose off as they wish and the discretionary powers vested with them are that they can decide how much each share will be. These people can will their share in case of their death. Transactions involving real estate whether buying or selling shall be recorded in writing. The important stages in this process are the agreement, the exchange of contracts and the completion. An agreement is defined as where the buyer inspects the property and agrees to pay the price to the seller. In the absence of an agreement the general rule is that everything attached to the property will automatically becomes the property of the buyer. The solicitors and conveyancers will carry out the legal procedure in regard to sale of property. In this process the seller's solicitor obtains the seller's title deeds prepares a contract and sends it to the buyer's solicitor. Solicitors do not make any enquiries as to the state of repair of the property.
The solicitors of both the buyer and seller will exchange the signed contract. The deposit is paid at this stage and the contract becomes binding, subsequently, the completion date is fixed. The Buyer's Solicitors send the Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return to the Revenue with payment of any stamp duty. The Deeds have then to be registered at the Land Registry. Certain fees such as the Value Added Tax on the fees, money payable to the Local Authority and Water Authority, money payable to Land Charges Registry for searches and copies of the Deeds, Land Registry Dealings fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax are to be complied with1.
In our present case the property is purchased by the five friends jointly and thus they became "Tenants in Common". In this context, the members can transfer their share of property to whomsoever they wish to through a will. Friends or relatives, who are buying together often, choose to be tenants in common. Thus in other words each of the members owns a specific share of property but does not necessarily have to have equal shares. The share in the property of any member, who dies, does not automatically devolve on to the other legal owners. It goes to the person who was nominated in the will or if there is no will it passes on to the next of kin. Tenancy in common refers to a form of shared ownership where two or more persons own land without the right of survivorship. Tenancy in common is often implemented in cases where property owners are engaged in an attempt to reduce inheritance taxes. If the property was owned as a tenancy in common, then the question of who inherits the deceased person's share is determined by the terms of their will or in the absence of a will by the laws of intestacy. In case the property was held under joined tenancy the surviving owner inherits automatically and this is not subject to the will or law of intestacy.
When the property was owned solely by the deceased or jointly by owners who have died, the terms of their will determines who inherits however, if there is no wi