What is "tenants in common"?


Quick Answer

Tenants in common, also known as tenancy in common, is a type of property ownership in which more than one person owns the property. There is no limit to the number of individuals who can own a share of the title in a tenants in common property.

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Full Answer

Tenants in common ownership can be divided however the owners see fit. The shares of the title do not have to be equal. In financing the purchase of a property, all members of the tenancy sign off on the home loan, allowing the bank to take full ownership of the property should the tenants default on the loan. If one person stops paying their portion of the mortgage, the other owners are liable for the total payment, even if ownership shares are unequal.

Each owner is entitled to use the property at any time and cannot be prevented from using it by the other owners. If one owner wants to sell their share in the property, they may do so without permission of the other owners. If the owners want to dissolve the tenancy in common, an owner can purchase the other tenants' shares and gain exclusive ownership of the property. Should one of the tenants die, their share is passed to their designated beneficiary.

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