Co-Owners of Property are called "Tenants in Common"

Common questions that naturally arise when the parties relationship deteriorates:

  • What to do with the property?
  • Who owns what?
  • What are each parties’ rights?

The answer to this questions begins with determining who a property is titled. Remember, when someone gets there name put on a Deed it can mean many different things. For example:

  • To Husband and Wife;
  • To Husband and Wife as joint tenants with the remainder to the survivor;
  • To Husband with a Transfer on Death to Wife language; and
  • To Husband with Wife retaining a Life Estate language.

If there is no “special language” then the designation is referred to a Tenants in Common.” As Tenants in Common, each co-tenant has a separate, but distinct title to an undivided share of the entire property. In other words, the Co-Tenants own the entire property and have equal access to the entire property. However, if a Co-Tenant decides to sell the property, he/she could only sell their ½ interest in the property.

What about Profits, Rents, and Improvements?

Generally speaking, a co-tenant may recover from another tenant his/her share of rents and profits received by a co-tenant. However, when it comes to improvements the law is not as clear. A Co-Tenant may sue another Co-Tenant who commits waste or denies a Co-Tenant access to the property. 

As you see the law is complicated when it comes to Co-Tenants rights. This is why it’s import to discuss your legal rights with an experienced real estate attorney. We will be able to guide you to make the best decision and help you recover costs for improvements, taxes, and other repairs that you may make as a Co-Tenant. Give us a call today!

How to get out of Co-Ownership when you don't get along with the other owner? 

The most common way to get out of by reaching an agreement between the parties. However, in some instances an agreement cannot be reached. If that's the case, then you will need to get a Court ordered sale of the property, commonly called a Partition. In a Partition Sale, the Court will uses its powers of equity to equally divide the property between the parties. In some instances, this results in one party buying out another and in others it results in a third party purchasing the property. 

If you can't get out of your Co-Ownership of real estate, give us a call at 740.346.2899.