Joint tenants

The following applies to Torrens Title land and Water Access Licences.

For two or more persons to hold an estate or interest in land or a Water Access Licence as joint tenants each tenant must:

  • be entitled to the possession of the whole of the estate or interest
  • have the same estate or interest
  • be registered on title by means of the same dealing and
  • have an estate for the same time.

Companies may hold as joint tenants, see s25(1) Conveyancing Act 1919.

The transfer or bankruptcy of a joint tenant's interest will sever the joint tenancy and the oncoming party will hold as tenant in common with the remaining tenants. The tenancy/shares between the other tenants not involved in the transfer is not altered.

Note

  • an annulment of bankruptcy will not restore the original joint tenancy; the applicant will hold as a tenant in common in shares equivalent to the interest formerly held as a joint tenant. A subsequent transfer may be lodged to re-establish the joint tenancy
  • a mortgage or charge by less than all of the joint tenants does not sever the joint tenancy. The mortgage or charge is extinguished upon the death of the joint tenant
  • a lease of land by less than all of the joint tenants severs the joint tenancy. The joint tenancy is restored on the expiry or removal of the lease.

On the death of a joint tenant the estate or interest passes to the surviving joint tenant by means of a Notice Of Death form. The estate or interest of a company that is dissolved passes to the surviving joint tenant by means of a Request form accompanied by a certificate of dissolution of the company from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), see s25(2) Conveyancing Act 1919.

See Baalman and Wells, Land Titles Office Practice, Lawbook Co. 2001 [70.100].