Joint Tenancy vs Tenants in Common

Purchasing a home is a huge decision and it can get even more complicated when deciding to purchase with another person whether it be your spouse, child, or a friend you are looking to invest with. 

There are two ways to go about this. They are called Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common. Is easy to see how they it can be a bit confusing with their names being so similar. 

Joint Tenancy

This is the most common deed between spouses and family in general because it allows the property to pass to survivors without going through probate which saves time and money. Joint tenants must obtain equal shares of the property with the same deed at the same time. A joint tenancy can be broken if one of the tenants transfers or sells his or her interest to another person, thus changing the ownership arrangement to a tenancy in common for all parties.

Tenancy in Common

Tenants in common can own different percentage of the property. Tenant A may own 60% and Tenant B may own 40%. No tenant has the right to a specific area of the property. A tenancy in common can be broken if one or more co-tenants buy out the others; if the property is sold and the proceeds distributed amongst the owners; or if a partition action is filed, which allows an heir to sell his or her stake. At this point, former tenants in common can choose to enter into a joint tenancy if they so desire. Tenants in common have no rights of survivorship. Unless the deceased individual's will or other instrument specifies that his or her interest in the property is to be divided among the surviving owners, a deceased tenant in common's interest belongs to the estate.

So there you have it! These decisions are not to be taken lightly as you always want to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected when making large investments. I am here with any questions you may have so call or text me at 310-997-7059 or email me at