Tenancy in Common Vs Joint Tenancy

The two most common types of co-ownership is tenancy in common and joint tenancy. Tenancy in common is a form of co-ownership with two or more people having an undivided interest in the entire land, but no right of survivorship. Tenancy in common is the most common form of co-ownership and requires only the unity of possession, which is that all co-owners hold the same undivided right to posses the whole property. Tenancy in common is the only co-ownership that can be owned in unequal portions. When a tenant in common dies, his interest in the property passes to his heirs.

For example, Mike, Dan, and Sam own a farm. Mike has a 50 percent interest in the property. Dan and Sam each have a 25 percent interest in the property. Sam can sell his 25 percent interest to Mary if he wants. When Mike dies, his 50 percent interest goes to his heirs, not to Dan and Mary.

Joint Tenancy exists when each co-owner has an equal undivided interest in the land and right of survivorship. Joint tenancy requires all four unities: Possession (defined above), interest (all owners hold equal ownership interests), time (all owners acquired their interests at the same time) and title (all owners acquired their interests by the same deed or will) . A main feature of joint tenancy is that it allows co-owners to take ownership shares of a deceased co-owner automatically. Since survivors take ownership equally and simultaniously, a person can not or inherit a citizenship estate. For example, Ann, Bob, and Curt take title to property as joint tenants. Each owner a one-third interest in the property. When Ann dies, her interest passages to Bob and Curt automatically, who each now own a half interest.

When a joint tenant conveys an interest, the new co-owner is a tenant in common in relation to the other co-owners, and the right of survivorship in that interest ends. For example, Dan, Ed, and Fran co-own a property as joint tenants. Fran sells her share to Gary. Dan and Ed are still joint tenants, but Gary is a tenant in common. If Dan dies, his interest goes to joint tenant Ed. If Gary dies, his interest goes to his heirs.

If the language in a deed does not specifically specify a different type of co-ownership, or if the co-owners are not married to each other, tenancy in common is assumed. If the deed is silent as to the interests of the parties, the shares will be equal.

Source by Joe Jesuele