held on trust for the purpose of providing a home to its co-owners. The idea of a ‘home- owning democracy’ was only developed later in the 20 th century. Attitudes towards property ownership also reflected different gender norms. Women were far less likely to have their own independent finances, and men far more likely to own the family home outright, meaning that the property needed not to be held on trust at all. The law today seeks to reflect the way in which social norms around owner-occupation have changed. When considering the material for this week, you may wish to ask yourself how well it has succeeded. 1
2 Joint tenancies and tenancies in common It is not enough to know that all co-owned land is held within a trust. Within the trust mechanism, there are two forms in which co-ownership is expressed. A joint tenancy means that the co-owners jointly own the whole. No co-owner has a separate share, and if one of them dies then the remaining co-owners continue to own the whole: this is the ‘right of survivorship’. The order in which joint tenants decease is therefore of crucial importance. Law of Property Act 1925 s.184 A tenancy in common means that the co-owners have separate shares in a specific proportion. They could be equal, or they could be unequal. Each co-owner can deal with their share, giving it away, selling it, or passing it on in their will, for example. Legal title to land can only be co-owned as a joint tenancy . There is no such thing as a tenancy in common of legal title to land. LPA 1925, s.1(6) and s.36(2) Legal title can only be held by up to four joint tenants, and any further co-owners are recognised only in equity. LPA 1925, s 34(2) However, the beneficial interest can be co-owned as either a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common .
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- Spring '18