6.2.1 Severance - Introduction


Welcome to the second lesson of the sixth chapter in this module guide - Severance.Severance is the name given to the process of converting a joint tenancy into a tenancy in common. Severance tends to be used for one of two purposes: excluding the future operation of survivorship, or ending the perpetuating existence of the so-called unities of interest and title.

At the end of this section, you should be comfortable understanding the effects of severance as well as the various ways in which it may come about. 

This chapter will first discuss the background of severance insofar as it is a process that changes joint tenancies into tenancies in common. The chapter will then discuss the various means by which severance can be undertaken. They include: severance by written notice; severance by an act of a joint tenant ‘operating upon his own share’; severance by mutual agreement; severance by mutual conduct; severance in consequence of unlawful killing; severance by merger of interests; and old archaic means of severance. The chapter will examine how severance impacts on, and is impacted by, family breakdowns. Finally, as with all other chapters, several hands-on examples are provided.

Goals for this Section

  • To understand what severance is
  • To understand how it may come about

Objectives for this Section

  • To be able to define severance
  • To be able to differentiate and apply the various ways in which severance
  • To understand how family breakdown affects severance

Start the Lecture

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Problem Questions

Each lecture is also accompanied by hands on examples of problem questions for the subject. You can jump directly to the questions below:

Hands on Examples