Tenancy In Common Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Tenancy In Common, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Tenancy In Common?

It is the ownership of the personal or real property held by two or more people, not neccesarily spouses or family members, and may be having unequal shares in terms of the size of the property. Still, all the different owners have equal rights to the property and have right to sell, purchase orm develope their share of ownership without the consent of other holders. But there is no right to survivorship and thus the property of the deceased owner goes to his/her heir.

History and Meaning of Tenancy In Common

Tenancy in Common, also known as TIC, is a form of joint property ownership that has been in existence since medieval times. This type of ownership allows multiple individuals to have ownership over a property, with each owning a distinct, undivided share of the property. Unlike other forms of joint property ownership, such as joint tenancy or community property, the co-owners of a TIC do not have automatic rights of survivorship, meaning that when one owner dies, their share of the property is passed on to their heirs.

In a Tenancy in Common, each owner has the right to use and possess the entire property, regardless of the size of their share. While co-owners can sell or transfer their interest in the property without the agreement of the other co-owners, they cannot sell the entire property without agreement. With this type of ownership, an agreement can be reached by the co-owners to establish rules about the management of the property, such as who is responsible for taxes, upkeep or repairs.

Examples of Tenancy In Common

  1. A family buys a vacation home together, but one sibling uses it more than the others. They decide to own the property as Tenants in Common with each sibling having a 1/3 undivided interest in the property.
  2. A group of friends decide to invest in a commercial property together. They set up the ownership as Tenants in Common with each friend owning a percentage of the property.
  3. Two business partners purchase an office building together but want to retain individual control over their respective businesses within the building. They establish the ownership as Tenants in Common, each with their individual share of the property.

Legal Terms Similar to Tenancy In Common

  1. Joint Tenancy - Each owner has an equal share and right of survivorship over the property.
  2. Community Property - A form of property ownership recognized in a handful of states where both spouses share equal ownership of all property obtained during the marriage.
  3. Trust Property - Ownership is held by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust.