Can a Jointly Owned Property be Sold by One Owner?

  • August 10, 2023
  • August 10, 2023
  • Shaz Nawaz
  • 8 min read

The rules and regulations regarding co-ownership are never simple. Often, one person may want to sell the property, while the does not want the same. In such a situation, what can you do if you want to sell the property? This guide is going to answer the question: can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner? First, let’s discuss what qualifies as a joint ownership.

Definition of Joint Ownership

When two or more people own a property together, they are under a legal arrangement called joint ownership. This type of property ownership is common and grants rights, responsibilities, and benefits to a multitude of people. In the UK, if you own half of a property, you are in a joint ownership. There are two types of such an ownership. One is tenancy in common and the other a joint tenancy. They are like each other but have a small difference in the rights and responsibilities aspect.

Why do People Buy Property Through Joint Ownership

Why do People Buy Property Through Joint Ownership?

There are plenty of reasons to purchase property under a joint ownership. Civil partners, married couples, and mortgage mates can all form a joint ownership. Mortgage mates are friends who live together. It is a beneficial arrangement for those who want to buy property but cannot do so on their own. By pooling their resources together, two or more individuals can easily purchase a property. Buyers can purchase larger and more desirable property through joint ownership than individually. Under a tenant in common agreement, each tenant will get their share of proportions of the sale. Whereas in a joint tenancy agreement, each owner receives an equal proportion. So, can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner?

What is Joint Tenancy?

If you own property with someone under a joint tenancy, then you will collectively own the property. You will not hold any share that you can sell independently. Suppose one of the tenants has a more substantial financial stake in the property. In that case, there are equal rights for the tenants. Under the tragic circumstance that a joint tenant passes away, the other joint tenants inherit the property automatically. Conflict may arise regarding the property’s sale. In that situation, the joint tenant who wants to sell needs to change the agreement. Through a notice for severance, the agreement changes into tenants in common. You must inform the HM Land Registry regarding the amendment of the title to the property. Therefore, the question arises: can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner?

Definition of Tenants in Common

Under this type of agreement, every tenant has a separate share within the property. These are share are not necessarily equal. The co-owners can decide how to divide the proportion. Every tenant has the right to sell their share without needing the consent of the other tenants. In the event of a co-tenant passing, their will or the law of intestacy decides who will inherit the property. A chosen beneficiary can inherit the property through the will. They can join as a new tenant in common with the other tenants.

Reason for Selling a Jointly Owned Property

There are plenty of reasons that an owner may want to sell a jointly owned property. For example, marriage, divorce, job relocation, or any sort of disagreement or conflict. However, owners may also to want to sell their shares in the property. They will then reinvest their funds in other properties which are more profitable.

What are Your Rights If You Own Half a Property?

Now, picture the scenario that you live on a jointly owned property. In this situation, you have the right to live there. This remains true unless an agreement says otherwise. All owners have an equal right to live on the property. This is not dependent on the share of the ownership. Under a joint tenant agreement, you will receive a share of any profit that is generated from the property. For example, proceeds of the sale or rental income. On the other hand, in a tenant in common agreement, you get profits from the share when you sell it. The question remains, can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner?

How to Change from a Joint Tenancy to Tenants in Common

How to Change from a Joint Tenancy to Tenants in Common?

Suppose you want to sell your property, but the other owner does not agree. Then, you must change the property agreement into a tenancy in common. Once all the owners agree to this change, then the process is simple moving forward:

  1. You must register a Form a Restriction through completing Form SEV.
  2. Make sure to collect all necessary documents, such as the notice of severance.
  3. Submit the form and documents to the HM Land Registry’s Citizen Centre.

On the other hand, if the other owners do not agree, then it is complex:

  1. You must prepare and serve a notice of severance to the other owners.
  2. Registering a Form A Restriction through completing Form SEV is also necessary here.
  3. Fill in form RX1 if you cannot provide proof of the severance options that are in the SEV form.
  4. Make sure to collect all necessary documents, such as the notice of severance.
  5. Submit the form and documents to the HM Land Registry’s Citizen Centre.

Can a Jointly Owned Property be Sold by One Owner?

Yes, there are ways to sell a jointly owned property. Let’s look at the following circumstances:

Can Other Owners Force You to Sell Your Share of the Property?

If you are a tenant in common, then you may have to sell your share of the property. Other tenants may force you to do so. Although, it requires certain criteria that they must meet. Furthermore, it involves legal proceedings.

Can You Force the Sale of a Jointly Owned Property in the UK?

In England, you can sell a jointly owned property even if other parties do not want to sell. You must apply for an order of sale. Through this process, you can get an order for purchase. You will not need to instruct a solicitor. This answers the question: can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner?

How to Apply for a Forced Sale?

First things first, you need to complete an N208 form. You must provide the following in an N208 form:

  • An estimate of the sale price.
  • Outstanding debt on the property in detail.
  • Proof of the claimant’s financial interest in the jointly owned property.
  • A witness statement that must elaborate on the identity of the other owners and their conditions.
  • Claimant must confirm if there is any registration of a notice under S.31 Family Law Act 1993 or Class F land charge against the jointly owned property.

Next step of the process involves submitting the N208 Form to the nearest county court. They will come to a decision. Which means they can either:

  • Approve the sale. In which case, the claimant can request for specific conditions such as a minimum sale price. They attach these conditions to the order upon the claimant’s request.
  • Deny the sale.

The tenants who do not want to sell their jointly owned property, have the right to voice their wishes. They can oppose the order. Consequently, they can request that the court postpone or reject the claim. If they wish to do so, then they must do it within fourteen days of the service date. That is why it is important to know can a jointly owned property be sold by one owner?

Five Different Ways a Court Can Order

Once you apply for the order of sale, the court has the right to grant one of the following different orders:

  • Order of sale.
  • Refuse a sale.
  • Order a sale but with a short delay built in the order.
  • Refuse a sale but order the right to inhabit the property.
  • Dividing up of the co-owned property.

What About a Jointly Owned Property with Children?

In case children are part of a joint ownership sale dispute, then they are resident dependents. Therefore, the court can order a sale with a slight delay. This allows the children the time to turn of legal age or complete their education. Until then, the owners cannot sell the property. Furthermore, the court can order a delay until there is an arrangement for suitable alternative accommodation. This happens when you force a sale of a jointly owned property with a differently abled resident dependent.


To summarise, if you are the owner of a jointly owned property, then under certain conditions, you can sell the property. The conditions depend on the type of joint ownership agreement. Under a joint tenancy agreement, the rights are different than tenants in common. Therefore, to sell the property, you must change the agreement to tenants in common. You also can apply for an order of sale through court. Make sure you understand the criteria required for selling a jointly owned property.

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