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Difference Between Joint Tenants and Tenants In Common

for-rentJoint Tenants vs. Tenants In Common

If you are dealing with the purchase of properties, then you are most likely required to know about the various issues surrounding each of these terms. Especially in the U.S., there are certain regulations under property law that need to be considered. In this process, it is also important to know some of the terms that may come your way.

Concurrent estate declares the provisions under the legal law, to which a certain property owner can have, in the event that more than one tenant (owner) uses, lives, or owns the said property. Joint tenancy, by definition, is one of the principles surrounding concurrent estate, wherein two or more persons jointly own an estate or property. This simply means that both contracting parties have the same right to own the estate. Lastly, tenants in common, is defined as a principle in which the owners of the estate act as shareholders. The individual rights, as well as the real estate interests of these tenants, also vary depending on the laws set per region.

When one of the tenants dies, the right to the property goes to the other tenant (in joint tenancy), whereas it will go to the heir for tenants in common. The weights of the rights also differ in each type of tenancy. For joint tenancy, the rights are shared equally between all parties. All owners have an equal say to any issues that concerns their property. It’s no wonder that the court considers joint tenants as synonymous to equal ownership, or equal tenancy. On the other hand, the rights for each tenant, in the case of tenants in common, vary between each owner. This depends on how much monetary claim was made by each particular tenant. As a shareholder type of tenancy, the owner having the biggest claim, or having the biggest share in the ownership, is clearly at an advantage. However, there are also some instances wherein tenants of the lowest share get to have the upper footing. This usually happens in the case of a ‘majority’, wherein the most number of owners agreed to one claim, as opposed to the right of the major tenant.

Overall, one cannot conclude which tenancy is better, because each type has its own set of pros and cons. Nevertheless, the key differences of the two concepts are as follows:

1. In case of a death of one owner, the share or rights to the estate owned, will be passed on to his or her next heir for tenants in common, whereas, in joint tenancy, the rights will immediately go to the other tenant(s).

2. In joint tenancy, the rights of each tenant are equal, whereas, in regards to tenant in common, the rights vary depending on how much claim each tenant has to the property.


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