When purchasing a property, we instructed the solicitor to set it up as tenants in common, with unequal shares in the beneficial interest. A few years later, I am struggling to find anything in writing confirming this was done or contact the solicitor who did the conveyancing.

Some online research I have done seems to say "tenants in common" is not something recorded on the deed of transfer/ownership, but done elsewhere. Often a "deed of trust" is involved but I am not sure if this document is where the beneficial interest is legally set out, and if so if it is filed centrally anywhere. Some reading seemed to suggest the onus is on me to prove the "Tenants in Common" status otherwise it is assumed joint tenancy (co-ownership).

Can someone clarify what documents actually formalise "tenants in common" and if they are lodged somewhere? Is it simply a document the owners arrange privately - so if we cannot find the document we can just make a newer one?

  • I would start by looking at the title register and from there next call the solicitor and ask.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 22, 2022 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


If the property is in and if it's...

...registered you will know that the owners are tenants in common because there will be a restriction registered in Section B Proprietorship Register that states:

RESTRICTION: No disposition by a sole proprietor or the registered estate (except a trust corporation) under which capital money arises is to be registered unless authorized by an order of the court’.

This restriction alerts a Solicitor or Conveyancer to the fact that the owners are tenants in common and one of them alone cannot sell the property. Source

Further reading may be found at: How to read a title register about the proprietorship (B) register which shows:

  • the class of the title

  • the names of the current registered owners and the addresses we use to contact them

  • (sometimes) how much they paid for it or an indication of its value on a stated date

  • any restrictions – these are entries that limit the owner’s power to deal with the property, for example, to stop them selling or securing a loan without their mortgage lender’s consent (My emboldenment)

  • 2
    thanks I missed the E&W tag.
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 22, 2022 at 13:17
  • "This restriction alerts a Solicitor or Conveyancer to the fact that the owners are tenants in common and one of them alone cannot sell the property" so where would the actual split (60:40, 90:10, etc) be recorded?
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 22, 2022 at 16:08
  • 1
    @Mr.Boy In a deed of trust, which will be held by the owners. If the property is a rental property, the owners will have sent a copy to HMRC; but in any case, this document is not publicly available. Jun 24, 2022 at 10:17
  • @SteveMelnikoff so as the owners who cannot find any record of this (and can't get the solicitors to answer), we can just create a new one?
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 24, 2022 at 11:03
  • 1
    @Mr.Boy I guess so; that might be worth asking as a separate question. Jun 24, 2022 at 13:17

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