Joint tenancy | bank rate


Even if the name sounds meaningful, living together has nothing to do with living together. Rather, it is a legal arrangement, a kind of co-ownership of real estate or land. Tenancy in Common (TIC) allows multiple people to simultaneously own interests in the same property and pass that interest on to an heir. These individuals, and sometimes the entire arrangement, are collectively referred to as tenants.

In many places, joint tenancy is the most common (pun intended) method of joint ownership of real estate. For example, “In California, co-tenancy is the standard method of holding property,” explains Sacramento Attorney Elizabeth Carlsen. It may even be the default assumption that multiple owners have a TIC agreement when buying a home or other property together, unless their contract specifically states otherwise.

Read on to learn more about the definition of shared tenancy, how it works, and how this practice differs from the other major types of shared ownership, such as a property. B. the joint tenancy and the overall tenancy.

What is the definition of joint tenants?

Joint tenancy is a way of having a concurrent estate, which is another way of saying it’s a way of allowing more than one person to own a particular property. The exact nature of the tenancy in common works varies by state, but usually involves certain key elements.

  • At least two parties must be involved; There is no maximum limit on the number of people who can jointly own a property. Of course, there is an inverse relationship between the number of owners and the percentage of ownership available to each party. In short, if you take more people with you, the pieces of the real estate pie get thinner for each person.
  • Not all parties necessarily have the same degree of ownership. One party can hold a claim to 25 percent of a property while the other owns 75 percent.
  • The arrangement need not be permanent. “This type of ownership can be dissolved or changed, usually with the consent of all parties,” says Carlsen.

The terms of a TIC agreement may also vary from case to case. Under some TIC contracts, you can sell your interest in the property without the consent of the other parties involved. Some contracts may contain language stating that you cannot sell your interest in the property without the consent of the other owners. If it’s the latter, having a large number of owners could become a headache.

Likewise, some TIC agreements allow all parties access to the property at any time, while other contacts may have certain restrictions on how and when you can enter and/or use the property. Your rights and obligations depend on how you draft the legal contract. So make sure a real estate attorney checks it out before you sign on the dotted line.

Another special feature of the tenancy in common: the sale of shares upon the death of one of the parties. “If a tenant dies, their ownership interest doesn’t dissolve,” says Carlsen. “So if you own 1/4 of a house with three other friends, you can leave your 1/4 interest to someone else after you die.” However, as Carlsen warns, “Joint tenancies can be a mess when new people own the property. Bringing in a new owner may require a change to the original ownership scheme.”

Other Types of Common Property

In addition to the joint tenancy, there are two other ways of owning a residential or commercial property.

TIC vs. shared tenancy

There are three main differences between TIC and shared tenancy.

  1. In a joint lease, all parties share an equal share: for example, with five owners, each party owns 20 percent of the property. A tenancy by common agreement does not require this, so percentage ownership can be unilateral if all parties agree.
  2. All owners of a joint tenancy must take possession of the title deed at the same time. In a TIC, some owners can buy or take control of a share at a later date.
  3. Co-ownership shares cannot be inherited by another person. Carlsen says: “A common tenant’s share cannot be transferred to anyone other than the other owner(s) upon death. For example, if two sisters own properties as joint tenants and one sister dies, the living sister now owns the entire property. It helps to get the title of real estate cleaner.”

Joint tenancies are usually for life. In some situations, a common tenant may sell their ownership interest to another party. In this case, the ownership structure often becomes a joint tenancy.

TIC vs. overall tenancy

Also commonly referred to as tenancy, this type of ownership is typically reserved exclusively for married couples. Each party has an equal right to occupy the property, and if one person dies, the interest automatically passes to the other owner (also called survivor’s right). You cannot transfer your property without the other person’s consent.

Pros and cons of shared tenancy

There are potential gains and losses associated with TIC agreements. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering this type of real estate stock ownership.


  • Can make ownership possible when you can’t afford it on your own
  • It is possible to leave your share to someone else
  • You share liabilities and property taxes with co-owners


  • If another tenant bequeaths their shares, you may be co-owner with someone you don’t know or care about
  • You may not be able to sell your shares without the consent of other owners
  • You cannot claim ownership of certain parts of the property even if you own a controlling interest

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