Property Law: When is a joint tenancy equitable?

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xxlazypandaxx
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These may seem to be a stupid questions but I don't know.

1. When is a joint tenancy equitable? How do we know?
2. Can a joint tenancy be both legal and equitable? When?

As long as the 4 unities are satisified, there is a joint tenancy. It says that a joint tenancy is either legal or equitable. And a tenancy in common is always equitable.

I think it means that a joint tenancy is always legal but it is equitable if it is severed (but technically hasnt it coverted to a tenancy in common)? OR is it when the co-owners want a joint tenancy BUT cannot satisfy the 4 unities, so it's equitable but it'll have the right of survivorship?
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xxlazypandaxx
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^ bump
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jacketpotato
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Co-ownership is ALWAYS a joint tenancy in law. Legal ownership essentially means whose name is on the land registry - if you were a buyer, its the legal owners that you would need to sell you the property.

Equitable ownership can EITHER by a JT or a tenancy in common. You can sever a JT to a TIC in equity only.
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xxlazypandaxx
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
Co-ownership is ALWAYS a joint tenancy in law. Legal ownership essentially means whose name is on the land registry - if you were a buyer, its the legal owners that you would need to sell you the property.

Equitable ownership can EITHER by a JT or a tenancy in common. You can sever a JT to a TIC in equity only.
Er I know but what I'm asking is when equitable ownership can be a JT? like how do you know wehther the ownership is a JT or a tenancy in common when they are similar things in the context of equity?

Like you know how a JT can be severed to a TIC in equity only...how do you know that the JT is in equity? I know it's always legal, but when can it be brought in equity?

Maybe give an example of when a equitable ownership is JT?...why does JT need to be equitable when it's always legal anyway?

I'm thinking too complicated possibly...I've tried rewording what I'm trying to ask.
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LexiswasmyNexis
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Umm.. Because it says it in?

Or because it satisfies the certainties of time, title, etc etc.
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xxlazypandaxx
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(Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
Umm.. Because it says it in?

Or because it satisfies the certainties of time, title, etc etc.
The four certainties is forl joint tenancy in general...satisfying it doesn't mean it's equitable since legal joint tenancies also satisfy them.
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jacketpotato
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Its a matter of the objective intention of the parties. You have to look at the circumstances to see what is intended and weigh up the different factors.

If the parties agree that they will hold as a JT or TIC, that will be determinative.
If the parties are in a long-term relationship or have children, its more likely to be a JT.
If there are unequal contributions to the purchase price, its more likely to be a TIC.
If its students living together, its more likely to be a TIC.

There is a slight presumption in favour of JTs but its a fairly weak presumption that you can displace with evidence that a TIC was intended.
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LexiswasmyNexis
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Sorry, to clarify, I mentioned the four certainties as an indicator of JT- not as a definitive answer to the q.
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xxlazypandaxx
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
Its a matter of the objective intention of the parties. You have to look at the circumstances to see what is intended and weigh up the different factors.

If the parties agree that they will hold as a JT or TIC, that will be determinative.
If the parties are in a long-term relationship or have children, its more likely to be a JT.
If there are unequal contributions to the purchase price, its more likely to be a TIC.
If its students living together, its more likely to be a TIC.

There is a slight presumption in favour of JTs but its a fairly weak presumption that you can displace with evidence that a TIC was intended.
Ya I know...but then what is the difference between a JT in law and a JT in equity?
I think that's what I'm trying to ask.
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iamorgan
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(Original post by xxlazypandaxx)
Ya I know...but then what is the difference between a JT in law and a JT in equity?
I think that's what I'm trying to ask.
The difference is simply the JT in law will be the one registered as owner (i.e. at land registry/the trustee etc) whereas the JT in equity will be those beneficially entitled.

EVERY piece of property has legal and equitable ownership -it's just that in most cases in the real world (i.e. a house) the owners in law and equity are exactly the same. IE my mum and dad own their house as Joint Tenants in law (because they are both the registered title holders at Land Registry). They also happen to own the beneficial interest in the property as Joint Tenants.
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mja
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(Original post by xxlazypandaxx)
Ya I know...but then what is the difference between a JT in law and a JT in equity?
I think that's what I'm trying to ask.
You're coming at this back-to-front, hence the confusion. You don't find that there is a joint tenancy, then ask whether it is legal or equitable.

Rather, you start from the position that you are trying to work out what the legal ownership of some property is. And if it is co-owned, if must be as joint tenants.

Or you are trying to work out what the equitable ownership of some property is. And it can be either a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common.

Or put another way - co-ownership of a legal property right is legal, and of an equitable property right is equitable.

So examples of an equitable joint tenancy would be:

-A holds some property on trust for B and C as joint tenants
-D and E are co-owners of an equitable lease
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mja
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(Original post by iamorgan)
The difference is simply the JT in law will be the one registered as owner (i.e. at land registry/the trustee etc) whereas the JT in equity will be those beneficially entitled.

EVERY piece of property has legal and equitable ownership -it's just that in most cases in the real world (i.e. a house) the owners in law and equity are exactly the same.
Nearly, but not quite.

All co-owned land has separate legal and equitable ownership.

But where a single person has legal title to land, there is usually no separate equitable ownership. Where two people are joint owners of a chattel at law, there need be no separate equitable ownership.
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iamorgan
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(Original post by mja)
Nearly, but not quite.

All co-owned land has separate legal and equitable ownership.

But where a single person has legal title to land, there is usually no separate equitable ownership. Where two people are joint owners of a chattel at law, there need be no separate equitable ownership.
I will believe you on that one! I still find it easier to think of there always being two questions: who is the legal estate owner? Then, who is beneficially entitled? I agree that, in some circumstances, the answer may be exactly the same for each.

Must say I'm glad that my equity/trusts days are over. Been there, got the t-shirt and then promptly forgotten all about it!
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xxlazypandaxx
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(Original post by iamorgan)
I will believe you on that one! I still find it easier to think of there always being two questions: who is the legal estate owner? Then, who is beneficially entitled? I agree that, in some circumstances, the answer may be exactly the same for each.

Must say I'm glad that my equity/trusts days are over. Been there, got the t-shirt and then promptly forgotten all about it!
Thanks for answering!
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xxlazypandaxx
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(Original post by mja)
Nearly, but not quite.

All co-owned land has separate legal and equitable ownership.

But where a single person has legal title to land, there is usually no separate equitable ownership. Where two people are joint owners of a chattel at law, there need be no separate equitable ownership.
Thanks for answering! I see now.
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Covunilawstudent
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The answer would be... By those who do not have their name on the land registry.
Also where there is say 6 people living in a property, as of the rules of JT the first 4 would have a legal JT. There after the other two or however more there are, if entered at the same time(4 unities are satisfied) they will be treated as having JT's in equity.
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Malik shehryar
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Joint tenant in equity can be by express intention of the parties or by law where the portion of equitable ownership is not filled it will be presumed that the joint tenancy will be equitable as well and if there is a joint tenancy in law then why in equity as well think about the parents want to hold the property as a trusties in law for there children in an equal division so for example there are three Childers one wants to sever and want others to sell the property in order to be paid of his own portion he would not be able to sell as it requires more then half of the joint tenants to agree with him in order to conduct a sale through courts
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Lawschoolhack
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Here's a very basic overview on YouTube - link below.

5 key points to remember about co-ownership - revision aid

The legal title is held by the trustees and is ALWAYS a joint tenancy.

If you need to work out the position in equity check;
1. Are the 4 unities present? If no- then it CAN'T be a JT in equity.
2. If the 4 unities are present it could be either a JT or a TIC.
3. Any stament in the transfer or conveyance to the owners is conclusive of the initial ownership
4. If there is no express declaration there is a presumption that equity follows the law (following Stack v Dowden) so there is a strong presumption that the equitable owners will be JTs as well.
5. Look for anything which may rebut the presumption in 4 above (e.g. commerical property)
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