When individuals purchase property together, there are two types of property ownership, being:
– Joint Tenancy
– Tenancy in Common
As joint tenancy, a right of survivorship exists. This means that if one of the joint tenants dies, the property will automatically be pass to the surviving joint tenant. It is important to note that this happens regardless of any contrary intention in the will of the deceased. Furthermore, all joint tenants have equal ownership and interest in the property.
As tenancy in common, the parties could own property in any shares or portion that they desire. A tenant in common can sell their shares of the property or give them away in a will. This means that there is no right of survivorship.
Foreign persons are usually required to obtain FIRB approval before they are able to purchase residential property in Australia. However, foreign persons purchasing property as joint tenants with their spouse (who is not a foreign person), is not required to obtain such FIRB approval. This is not the case if the property is to be owned as tenancy in common (FIRB approval is required).
For more information, please contact our office.