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What Are Tenants in Common?

Tenancy in common is a formal arrangement in which two or more individuals have ownership rights in a property or a piece of land. Each person who owns a portion of tenancy in common could own a different percentage of the total property or an equal percentage. This property type can also be residential. Tenants in common are eligible to bequeath their share of the property to anyone when they pass away. Tenancy in common is also a distinct concept from joint tenancy. This is especially when it comes to the degree of ownership that each tenant maintains and survivorship rights. You can create a tenancy in common appointment at any point in time and members of the agreement are eligible to borrow against or independently sell their portion of ownership. Tenancy in common and joint tenancy have a few important differences. In a joint tenancy, tenants will get equal shares of a property with the same deed at the same point in time. In tenancy in common, a change in members doesn’t break an agreement. However, with joint tenancy the agreement is broken if any of the members decide to sell their interests. Additionally, certain states name joint tenancy as default property ownership for married couples, whereas others would use the tenancy in common ownership model. This is why it is so important to set aside time to speak with an experienced lawyer about your unique situation and how you wish to leave property behind.       

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