Joint Tenancy

The New Western Team


Joint Tenancy: In real estate investing, joint tenancy refers to a form of property ownership where two or more individuals hold equal shares of ownership in a property. Each owner has an undivided interest in the property, and in the event of one owner’s death, their share automatically passes to the surviving owners. Joint tenancy offers benefits such as the right of survivorship and potential tax advantages, making it an attractive option for real estate investors seeking shared ownership.


Joint Tenancy: Practical Example

Imagine two friends, Alex and Emily, who are interested in investing in real estate together. They have been researching different ways to own property jointly and come across the concept of joint tenancy.

Alex and Emily learn that joint tenancy is a form of property ownership where two or more individuals hold equal shares in a property. They are intrigued by this idea because it offers several benefits, including the right of survivorship.

One day, they find a beautiful residential property in a desirable neighborhood that they believe would make a great investment. They decide to purchase the property as joint tenants, each contributing an equal amount of capital towards the purchase.

By holding the property as joint tenants, Alex and Emily understand that they will have an undivided interest in the entire property. This means that they both have an equal right to use and enjoy the property, regardless of their individual contributions.

A few years later, the property’s value has significantly increased, and Alex unfortunately passes away unexpectedly. As joint tenants, Emily automatically becomes the sole owner of the property. This is because joint tenancy includes the right of survivorship, which means that when one joint tenant dies, their share automatically transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s) without the need for probate or other legal proceedings.

Emily now has the option to continue owning the property or sell it, benefiting from the appreciation in value. She could also choose to bring in a new joint tenant, such as a family member or another investor, to share ownership and responsibilities.

Reflecting on their joint tenancy experience, Emily says to a fellow investor, “Investing in real estate as joint tenants with Alex was a great decision. Not only did it allow us to pool our resources and purchase a valuable property together, but the right of survivorship ensured a smooth transfer of ownership when Alex passed away.”

Inspired by Emily’s success, the fellow investor starts considering joint tenancy as a viable option for investing in real estate with a trusted partner, knowing that it offers both financial and legal advantages.

Remember, joint tenancy is just one of many forms of property ownership, and it is important for real estate investors to understand the implications and legalities associated with each option before entering into any joint ownership arrangement.


Q: What is joint tenancy in real estate investing?
A: Joint tenancy is a form of property ownership where two or more individuals, known as joint tenants, hold equal shares of a property. This type of ownership includes the right of survivorship, meaning that if one joint tenant passes away, their share automatically transfers to the remaining joint tenants.

Q: What are the benefits of joint tenancy for real estate investors?
A: Joint tenancy offers several advantages for real estate investors. Firstly, it allows for easy transfer of ownership upon the death of a joint tenant, avoiding the need for probate. Additionally, joint tenancy can provide tax benefits and potential protection against creditors.

Q: Can joint tenancy be established between family members only?
A: No, joint tenancy can be established between any individuals, including family members, friends, or business partners. The key requirement is that all joint tenants hold equal shares of the property.

Q: How is joint tenancy different from tenancy in common?
A: While joint tenancy and tenancy in common both involve multiple owners, the main difference lies in the right of survivorship. In joint tenancy, the death of a joint tenant results in the automatic transfer of their share to the remaining joint tenants. In tenancy in common, however, each owner’s share can be inherited by their chosen beneficiaries or passed through their estate.

Q: Can joint tenancy be terminated or converted into another form of ownership?
A: Yes, joint tenancy can be terminated or converted. This can be done through a process known as severance, where one or more joint tenants decide to end the joint tenancy and hold their shares as tenants in common. Severance can occur through various means, such as selling or transferring a share to a third party, or executing a deed that explicitly states the intent to sever the joint tenancy.

Q: What happens if one joint tenant wants to sell their share?
A: If one joint tenant wishes to sell their share, they can do so. However, the buyer would become a tenant in common with the remaining joint tenants, rather than a new joint tenant. This means that each owner would have a distinct, separate share of the property.

Q: Are there any drawbacks or risks associated with joint tenancy?
A: While joint tenancy offers benefits, it also comes with potential drawbacks. One risk is the loss of control over the property, as each joint tenant has an equal say in decision-making. Additionally, joint tenancy can lead to complications if one tenant becomes involved in legal issues or financial trouble, potentially affecting the property’s ownership.

Q: Is joint tenancy the only form of property ownership for real estate investors?
A: No, joint tenancy is just one of several forms of property ownership available to real estate investors. Other common options include tenancy in common, where owners can hold unequal shares, and sole ownership, where a single individual holds full ownership rights. The choice of ownership structure depends on the specific goals and circumstances of the investor or investors involved.