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Joint Tenancy

property common tenants ownership

A type of ownership of real or PERSONAL PROPERTY by two or more persons in which each owns an undivided interest in the whole.

In estate law, joint tenancy is a special form of ownership by two or more persons of the same property. The individuals, who are called joint tenants, share equal ownership of the property and have the equal, undivided right to keep or dispose of the property. Joint tenancy creates a RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP. This right provides that if any one of the joint tenants dies, the remainder of the property is transferred to the survivors. Descended from common-law tradition, joint tenancy is closely related to two other forms of concurrent property ownership: TENANCY IN COMMON, a less restrictive form of ownership that sometimes results when joint tenancies cease to exist, and TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY, a special form of joint tenancy for married couples.

Joint tenants usually share ownership of land, but the property may instead be money or other items. Four main features mark this type of ownership: (1) The joint tenants own an undivided interest in the property as a whole; each share is equal, and no one joint tenant can ever have a larger share. (2) The estates of the joint tenants are vested (meaning fixed and unalterable by any condition) for exactly the same period of time—in this case, the tenants' lifetime. (3) The joint tenants hold their property under the same title. (4) The joint tenants all enjoy the same rights until one of them dies. Under the right of survivorship, the death of one joint tenant automatically transfers the remainder of the property in equal parts to the survivors. When only one joint tenant is left alive, he or she receives the entire estate.

If the joint tenants mutually agree to sell the property, they must equally divide the proceeds of the sale. Because disagreement over the disposition of property is common, courts sometimes intervene to divide the property equally among the owners. If one joint tenant decides to convey her or his interest in the property to a new owner, the joint tenancy is broken and the new owner has a tenancy in common.

Tenancy in common is a form of concurrent ownership that can be created by deed, will, or operation of law. Several features distinguish it from joint tenancy: A tenant in common may have a larger share of property than the other tenants. The tenant is also free to dispose of his or her share without the restrictive conditions placed on a joint tenancy. Unlike joint tenancy, tenancy in common has no right of survivorship. Thus, no other tenant in common is entitled to receive a share of the property upon a tenant in common's death; instead, the property goes to the deceased's heirs.

Tenancy by the entirety is a form of joint tenancy that is available only to a HUSBAND AND WIFE. It can be created only by will or by deed. As a form of joint tenancy that also creates a right of survivorship, it allows the property to pass automatically to the surviving spouse when a spouse dies. In addition, tenancy by the entirety protects a spouse's interest in the property from the other spouse's creditors. It differs from joint tenancy in one major respect: neither party can voluntarily dispose of her or his interest in the property. In the event of DIVORCE, the tenancy by the entirety becomes a tenancy in common, and the right of survivorship is lost.

CROSS-REFERENCES

Real Property.

Joint Tortfeasor [next] [back] Joint Stock Company

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about 4 years ago

If A and B and joint tenant and A rent's out the property without B's knowledge. What rights does A have against B?

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over 3 years ago

At first I was thinking of two or more people renting a place together, but joint tenancy is actually about sharing ownership. Interesting concept.. I for one am looking for Montreal apartment rentals and a room mate and I know that sharing the "habitat" and costs with someone else will be a life lesson.

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almost 4 years ago

This is truly helpful,especially to those of us who can't afford a special lawyer. Thank you!

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over 4 years ago

When people purchase property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS), the co-owners should understand that any one owner of the property has the legal right to file a petition for partition.



JTWROS co-owners always own equal shares of the property. For example, if four owners are on the deed, then each owner owns a 1/4 share no matter how much each owner contributed to the purchase price.



During a JTWROS partion, which is a legal right and cannot be stopped, the property is divided absolutely equally among all owners.The court would physically divided the property into equal shares, giving each person a share; or, the property would be sold and the proceeds would be divided equally amont the co-owners with no credit given to any one owner who may have paid more than his "share" of the purchase price.



People purchasing property should realize that partition lawsuits can be very long and expensive, and they cannot be stopped once they have begun unless the owners can agree on a buyout price.

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over 4 years ago

i think joint tenancy shoud be reforemed in that when one dies the property can be vested to those who are related

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12 months ago

hi my question is...there was this couple who bought a house and it was drawn up I believe as Tenancy in Common. one died and the other wanted to get a loan or refinance on the house but as it was drawn up there are 5 kids and 3 of the kids had to sign off on it does that mean because the youngest 2 never signed off they have some rights to the home?