Do you know the difference between a joint tenancy and tenancy in common?
If more than one person owns a parcel of land, it can be held either as joint tenants or as tenants in common. The distinction between joint tenants and tenants in common is important because:
- If you hold land as joint tenants with someone else, upon the death of the other party, the share of that deceased person is automatically acquired by the remaining proprietor/s of the land. Consequently, spouses or relationship partners normally acquire land as joint tenants;
- In contrast, if you hold land as tenants in common, then upon the death of either of you, the share of the deceased proprietor/s does not automatically go to the surviving proprietor/s. Instead, it is transferred in accordance with the deceased persons Will. For example, two brothers buying a duplex are likely to want to hold that property as a tenancy in common.
When you are buying real property, it is important to understand the distinction between a “joint tenancy” and “tenants in common” before you make a decision as to how you want to hold that land.
Please contact us if we can assist you in a transfer, sale or purchase of property.