This is an extract of our Concurrent Ownership document, which we sell as part of our Property Outlines collection written by the top tier of University Of Michigan Law School students.
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CONCURRENT OWNERSHIP a. Tenancy in Common???
Two or more owners are tenants in common where they own shares of the property with no right of survivorship; when one dies, her share passes to her heirs or devisees, who become tenants in common with the remaining tenant. Where tenants own a property concurrently, the modern law presumes a tenancy in common. TICs each have the right to possess the whole property. TICs do not necessarily own equal shares in the land, but the law presumes equal shares unless proven otherwise. TICs may occupy different types of estate. Suppose A and B are TICs; B dies and leaves his share to C as a life estate, remainder to D. C and D are now tenants in common with B. Share are considered totally alienable. b. Joint Tenancy????
Joint tenants own shares of the property with a right of survivorship. When one tenant dies, the other succeeds to her share. Neither tenant may devise her share. Joint tenancy must be created by deed or by will, or by joint adverse possession. It does not arise when multiple parties inherit land by intestate succession. In order to remain in JT, the Four Unities must be sustained: o Time: The interests in the JTs' interests must vest at the same time. o Title: The JTs must acquire title in the same instrument or act of AP.
? At CL, H could not convey to H and W as JTs. He had to convey to a straw man first.
? Modern law mostly allows this under the fiction that "H" is a separate entity from "H and W." o Interest: The JTs must hold the estate for the same duration. Their shares must also be equal. However, the property itself may be divided into shares, with one share being held by JTs who are collectively TICs with another tenant. o Possession: The JTs must have the right to possession of the whole, but are free to strike agreements between each other to waive one JT's right to possession in favor of another. At CL, a conveyance to multiple parties was presumed to create a JT. Feudal law preferred sole ownership over multiple ownership. H and W were presumed to take as TBEs. Under modern law, the presumption of JT has been abolished. In a few states, H and W still are presumed to take as TBEs. A JT can now be created only by express words in the conveying instrument. Usually this is done by explicitly reserving the right of survivorship in the parties. In some states, survivorship must be mentioned or a TIC is created. A JT is severed where one tenant conveys his interest to another. o In some jurisdictions, a mere contract to convey severs the JT. o In some jurisdictions, a JT may sever the JT by conveying his share to himself. o IN some jurisdictions, a JT who mortgages his share of the property severs his interest. A JT may lease all or part of his interest in the property without severing the JT, and without the consent of the other JT. See: Swartzbaugh v. Sampson. o At CL, a lease severed the JT, but no longer. The modern law is split whether the surviving JT takes the other share subject to the lease. If the JTs die simultaneously, the property is divided equally between their estates. c. Tenancy by the Entirety?Tenants by the Entirety must be husband and wife. TBEs have a right of survivorship and the tenants cannot unilaterally sever their shares. At CL, a conveyance to H and W automatically created a TBE. Today, no state has this rule, though a few still presume a conveyance to H and W to create a TBE unless otherwise specified. Two tenants in TBE are fictitiously considered one person.
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