Joint ownership and renting

Question from Mark updated on 20th April 2012:

I have separated from my wife and we jointly own a property, I am enquiring whether I can rent this property without her consent?

Our expert Juliet Robinson responded:

There are two types of joint ownership relevant to your situation. You and your wife as property owners are either joint tenants or tenants in common. The title to your property will show what type of ownership you have. If you are tenants in common you each own a share of the property and you can dispose of that share. However, joint tenants own the property jointly and neither has a specific share as distinct from the other. If you are joint tenants you and your wife individually have no authority over the property but acting together you do. Your first step should be to communicate with your wife and try to agree on what you should do with the property. If you can both agree to rent it out then both types of ownership are covered. Without agreement, you are not really on solid ground acting alone with either type of ownership. In such circumstances you should both take legal advice.

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