Partnering Up to Buy a Property

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The Skyrocketing Australian Property Market and the Role of Property Accountants

The skyrocketing prices of the Australian property market, especially in the eastern states, have become a well-known challenge for many aspiring home-owners and investors. The dream of owning a property has become increasingly elusive due to the affordability barrier posed by these soaring prices.

Fortunately, with the expertise and guidance of a property accountant, you can effectively navigate this realm and make informed decisions to overcome the affordability barrier.

According to a report by the Housing Industry Association, it now takes 1.2 average incomes to service a typical home loan.

Navigating Co-Ownership: A Strategic Approach

A strategy we have seen occurring more frequently is for a person to acquire a property to live in or invest in with another person.

An obvious advantage of this co-ownership is that the initial outlay and ongoing costs are shared, reducing financial stress on each person.

However, there can be significant challenges and disadvantages where the persons involved have different financial circumstances and/or intentions.  For example, when should the property be sold, rented out, renovated, or developed? Who pays the bills, how much should be borrowed and how much deposit (equity) should be contributed? What happens if the contributions are not equal?

To mitigate these risks and uncertainties, we suggest the parties involved to enter into a legal contract – a co-ownership agreement – prepared by property accountants in collaboration with solicitors to set out their rights and obligations relating to the property and to minimise any potential legal actions in the event of a disagreement.

Choosing the Right Tenancy Type: Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common

Care and consideration also need to be given in relation to the type of tenancy of the property. Two common options are joint tenancy and tenancy in common. Should it be owned as joint tenants or tenants in common?

Joint tenants: The interest of a deceased joint tenant passes automatically to the surviving joint tenant(s). Usually used for spouses.
Tenants in common:The interest of a deceased tenant in common passes according to the terms of their will. Usually used for friends.

Property accountants can provide valuable insights and guidance on selecting the most suitable tenancy type based on the specific circumstances and objectives of the co-owners.

It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid rush as we have seen many unintended consequences arise from rushing into joint investments, including investing in joint tenants’ names where the more suitable tenancy would have been tenants in common.


In conclusion, the Australian property market’s skyrocketing prices present a significant challenge for prospective buyers and investors. However, with the guidance of property accountants, individuals can effectively navigate this challenging landscape. Shared ownership provides a viable strategy to overcome the affordability barrier, with co-owners sharing the financial burden. Through comprehensive co-ownership agreements and the selection of appropriate tenancy types and consultation to property accountants, individuals can protect their interests and minimize potential disputes.

If you have any queries or intentions in relation to the above, the Kreston Stanley Williamson team is here to assist you. Please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us before it is too late or expensive to correct.

Author – Zane Grigg

*Correct as of 30 May 2022

*Disclaimer – this article has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas contained in this article, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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