Tenants in Common vs. Joint Tenancy | NatWest

Tenants in
Common vs. Joint Tenancy

Buying a house with a partner,
friend or parent

What is an agreement in principle?

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

NatWest mortgages are available for over 18s.

Man and woman in estate agents

If you're buying a home with someone else, you'll be asked to define how the property is legally owned between you. This is entirely dependent on your circumstances, but whatever you do decide will be listed in the Land Registry. This ensures that the property's ownership can be defined should any tenant pass away, worth thinking about before you decide to go ahead with a purchase. Be sure to also ask your solicitor or conveyancer for additional advice.

If you change your mind or your circumstances change, anything you do opt for can be revised at a later date without a fee. Generally, how a property is jointly owned will come under one of two legal terms:

Joint Tenancy

A Joint Tenancy is used if you both want to hold an equal share of the property, regardless of who paid for what in the sale. This option is the most straightforward, but isn't for everyone.

If either one of you dies, full ownership is automatically passed on to the other – even you don't have a will, or if your will states otherwise.


Tenancy in Common

If one of you has invested more cash into the property than the other, you can divide the ownership rights to reflect this with a Tenancy in Common. The split is a set percentage agreed by all, and it could be anything from 50/50 to 80/20. This can help keep your deposit safe, as if the relationship sours and you have to sell, you're entitled to whatever percentage you contributed.

It's worth bearing in mind that unlike a Joint Tenancy, your share would automatically go to the person named as recipient in your will if you die, which of course may not necessarily be the same person you're buying with. If you don't have a will, it would normally go to your closest blood relative, but it's best not to leave that decision to anyone else. We'd strongly recommend updating your will when using a Tenancy in Common.

Agreement in Principle explained

What is an Agreement in Principle?

If you’re on the lookout for a property, a mortgage Agreement in Principle (or an AIP for short) is a helpful way to test the water to find out how much you could borrow. It will also give you a rough idea of the value of the property you could buy, and what your monthly repayments may look like.


Getting an Agreement in Principle doesn’t mean you’re committing to apply for a mortgage, but it can be a good idea to get this in place before you start going to view properties.


That way you can show you’re a committed buyer to estate agents, and you can act quickly if you think you’ve found your dream home.

How do I get one, and what will I need?

The process takes around 5 minutes and requires some personal information including:


  • Details of your income and financial commitments like monthly credit card payments or child maintenance
  • It will take into account your credit score and credit history
  • And the value of the property and your deposit


What is a soft credit check?


As part of the process of getting a Agreement in Principle, we do a soft credit check.  Soft credit checks can only be seen by yourself on your credit report and don’t affect your credit rating or ability to borrow from other lenders in the future, even if you're declined an Agreement in Principle decision at first.

For more information about the credit reference agencies we use and how they may use your data, please see our full Privacy Notice at www.natwest.com/privacy


Benefits of Agreement in Principle


Its a 'soft' search that allows you to do some research before making your application, as you can complete multiple Agreement in Principle’s online, without an impact on your credit rating.  It’s still a reliable way to check what decision you would get when putting in a full application for a mortgage product, as it will check the same sort of data as a ‘hard’ application. However, as it is only ‘in principle’ until you have an offer, the amount could change. 

What happens after I complete an Agreement in Principle?

Now you’ve got the proof that you could potentially get a mortgage, you can start showing you’re a serious buyer when searching for your home.


Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you’ll be able to show your mortgage Agreement in Principle to the estate agent, and once you’re at that stage you can be ready to start your full mortgage application. 

Get an Agreement in Principle
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