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Encyclopedia > Concurrent estate
Property law
Part of the common law series
Acquisition of property
Gift  · Adverse possession  · Deed
Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property
Bailment  · Licence
Estates in land
Allodial title  · Fee simple
Life estate  · Fee tail  · Future interest
Concurrent estate  · Leasehold estate
Condominiums
Conveyancing of interests in land
Bona fide purchaser  · Torrens title
Estoppel by deed  · Quitclaim deed
Mortgage  · Equitable conversion
Action to quiet title
Limiting control over future use
Restraint on alienation
Rule against perpetuities
Rule in Shelley's Case
Doctrine of worthier title
Nonpossessory interest in land
Easement  · Profit
Covenant running with the land
Equitable servitude
Related topics
Fixtures  · Waste  · Partition
Riparian water rights
Lateral and subjacent support
Assignment  · Nemo dat
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Tort law
Wills and trusts
Criminal Law  · Evidence

A concurrent estate or co-tenancy is a concept in property law, particularly derived from the common law of real property, which describes the various ways in which property can be owned by more than one person at a given time. The parties who own property jointly are referred to as co-tenants or joint tenants. Most common-law jurisdictions recognize three kinds of concurrent estate: tenancy in common, joint tenancy with right of survivorship, and tenancy by the entirety. Many jurisdictions simply refer to a joint tenancy with right of survivorship as a joint tenancy, but a few U.S. States treat the phrase joint tenancy as synonymous with a tenancy in common. Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... A gift, in the law of property, has a very specific meaning. ... In real estate common law, adverse possession is a means of acquiring title to anothers real property without compensation, by, as the name suggests, holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owners rights. ... A deed is a legal instrument used to grant a right. ... In the common law of property, personal belongings that have left the possession of their rightful owners without having directly entered the possession of another person are deemed to be lost, mislaid, or abandoned, depending on the circumstances under which they were found by the next party to come into... Bailment describes a legal relationship where physical possession of personal property (chattels) is transferred from one person (the bailor) to another person (the bailee) who subsequently holds possession of the property. ... A license or licence is a document or agreement giving permission to do something. ... Estate is a term used in the common law. ... Allodial title is a concept in some systems of property law. ... Fee simple, also known as fee simple absolute or allodial, is a term of art in common law. ... A life estate, at common law is an estate in real property that ends at death. ... Fee tail is an obsolescent term of art in common law. ... In property law and real estate, a future interest - is an interest that accompanies a defeasible estate. ... A leasehold estate is an ownership interest in land in which a lessee or a tenant holds real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. ... A condominium is a form of housing tenure. ... Conveyancing is the act of transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another. ... A bona fide purchaser (BFP)—or bona fide purchaser for value without notice (BFPFVWN)—in the law of real property, is an innocent party who purchases property for value, without notice of any other partys claim to the title of that property. ... Torrens title is a system of land title where a register of land holdings maintained by the state guarantees indefeasible title to those included in the register. ... Estoppel by deed is a doctrine in the law of real property that arises where a party conveys title to land that he does not own to a bona fide purchaser, and then acquires title to that land. ... A quitclaim deed is a term used in property law to describe a document by which a person disclaims any interest the grantor might have in a piece of real property, and passes that claim to another person (the grantee). ... A mortgage is a method of using property (real or personal) as security for the payment of a debt. ... Equitable conversion is a doctrine of the law of real property under which a purchaser of real property becomes the equitable owner of title to the property at the time that they sign a contract binding them to purchase the land at a later date. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... In property law and real estate, a future interest - is an interest that accompanies a defeasible estate. ... A restraint on alienation, in the law of real property, is a clause used in the conveyance of real property that seeks to prohibit the recipient from selling or otherwise transferring his interest in the property. ... The rule against perpetuities is a rule in property law which prohibits a contingent grant or will from vesting outside a certain period of time. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In the common law of England, the doctrine of worthier title was a legal doctrine that preferred taking title to real estate by descent over taking title by devise or by purchase. ... A nonpossessory interest in land is a term of the law of property to describe any of a category of rights held by one person to use land that is in the possession of another. ... NB: This article is manifestly incorrect outside of US law. ... A profit, in the law of real estate, is a nonpossessory interest in land similar to the better-known easement, which gives the holder the right to take natural resources such as petroleum, minerals, timber, and wild game from the land of another. ... A covenant running with the land, in the law of real property, is a nonpossessory interest in land in the form of an agreement between adjoining landowners to do or not do something with relation to the land that they respectively occupy - to maintain a fence, for example, or not... An equitable servitude is a term used in the law of real property to describe a nonpossessory interest in land that operates much like a covenant running with the land, requiring the landowner to maintain certain practices with respect to the land (e. ... In the law of real property, fixtures are anything that would otherwise be a chattel that have, by reason of incorporation or affixation, become permanently attached to the real property. ... Waste is a term used in the law of real property to describe a cause of action that can be brought in court to address a change in condition of real property brought about by a current tenant that damages or destroys the value of that property. ... A partition is a term used in the law of real property to describe the court-ordered division of a concurrent estate into separate portions representing the proportionate interests of the tenants. ... Riparian water rights is a system of allocating water among the property owners who abut its source. ... Lateral and subjacent support, in the law of property, describes the right a landowner has to have that land physically supported in its natural state by both adjoining land and underground structures. ... An assignment is a term used with similar meanings in the law of contracts and in the law of real estate. ... Nemo dat quod non habet, literally meaning no one [can] give what they dont have is a legal rule, sometimes called the nemo dat rule that states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title. ... A contract is any promise or set of promises made by one party to another for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. ... In the common law, a tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such persons incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... A U.S. state is any one of the 50 states which have membership of the federation known as the United States of America (USA or U.S.). The separate state governments and the U.S. federal government share sovereignty. ...


The type of ownership determines the rights of the parties to convey their interest in the property to others, to will the property to their devisees, or to sever their joint ownership of the property. Just as each of these affords a different set of rights and responsibilities to the joint owners of property, each requires a different set of conditions in order to exist. In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ...

Contents

Rights and duties shared by all co-tenants

Co-tenants, irrespective of the type of tenancy, share certain rights to the property:

  1. Each tenant has an unrestricted right of access to the property. Where one co-tenant wrongfully excludes another from making use of the property, the excluded co-tenant can bring a cause of action for ouster, and may receive the fair rental value of the property for the time that he was dispossessed.
  2. Each tenant has a right to an accounting of profits made from the property. If the property generates income such as rent, each tenant is entitled to a proportion of that income.
  3. Each tenant has a right of contribution for the costs of owning the property. Co-tenants can be forced to contribute to the payment of expenses such as repairs, property taxes, and mortgages on the entire property.

Co-tenants do not have any obligation to contribute to any costs of improving the property. If one co-tenant adds a feature that enhances the value of the property, that co-tenant has no right to demand that any others share the cost of adding that feature - even if other co-tenants reap greater profits from the property because of it. However, at partition, a co-tenant is entitled to recover the value added by his or her improvements of the property. Conversely, if the co-tenant's "improvements" decrease the value of the property, the co-tenant is responsible for those decreases as well. A mortgage is a method of using property (real or personal) as security for the payment of a debt. ...


Furthermore, each co-tenant can independently encumber their own share in the property by taking out a mortgage on that share; other co-tenants have no obligation to help pay a mortgage that only runs to another tenant's share of the property, and the mortgagee can only foreclose on that share. A mortgage is a method of using property (real or personal) as security for the payment of a debt. ... Foreclosure is the legal proceeding in which a bank or other secured creditor sells or repossesses a piece of real property (immovable property) due to the owners failure to comply on its promissory note. ...


Finally, co-tenants owe one another a duty of fair dealing. Because of this, any co-tenant who acquires a mortgage claim against the property must give his co-tenants a reasonable opportunity to purchase proportionate shares in that claim.


Tenancy in common

Tenancy in common is the default form of concurrent estate, in which each owner, referred to as a tenant in common, is regarded by the law as each owning separate and distinct shares which may differ in size. This form of ownership is common where the co-owners are not married or have contributed different amounts to the acquisition of the property. Also, if joint owners had attempted to use another form of joint ownership such as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship or a tenancy by the entirety, and the effort was for some reason invalid, the joint owners would then be tenants in common. If conclusive evidence is not available of the desire to create a tenancy with rights of survivorship or a tenancy by the entirety, courts will determine that a tenancy in common has in fact been created. A court is an official, public forum which a sovereign establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ...


Tenants in common have no right of survivorship, meaning that if one owner dies, that owner's interest in the property will pass by inheritance to that owner's devisees or heirs, either by will, or by intestate succession. A concurrent estate or co-tenancy is a concept in property law, particularly derived from the common law of real property, which describes the various ways in which property can be owned by more than one person at a given time. ... Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, and obligations upon the death of an individual. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... Intestacy refers to the body of common law that determines who is entitled to the property of a dead person in the absence of a last will and testament or other binding declaration. ...


Destruction of a tenancy in common

Where the parties to a tenancy in common wish to destroy the joint interest, they can do so through a partition of the property - a division of the land into distinctly owned plots. A partition is a term used in the law of real property to describe the court-ordered division of a concurrent estate into separate portions representing the proportionate interests of the tenants. ...


If the parties are unable to agree to a partition, any or all of them may seek the ruling of a court to determine how the land should be divided up, physically divide it between the joint owners (partition in kind), leaving each with ownership of a portion of the property representing their share. Courts may also order a partition by sale in which the property is sold and the proceeds are distributed to the owners.


Joint tenancy with right of survivorship

A joint tenancy with right of survivorship or JTWROS is a type of concurrent estate in which the joint owners have a right of survivorship, meaning that if one owner dies, that owner's interest in the property will automatically pass to the remaining owner or owners. On the death of one of the tenants, the whole of the property passes to remaining tenant(s); this is the "right of survivorship." The deceased tenant's property interest simply evaporates by operation of law, and cannot be inherited by his heirs (which means it avoids going through probate). Under this type of ownership, the last owner living takes all. ... Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person; specifically, distributing the decedents property. ...


It is important to note, however, that creditors' claims against the deceased tenant's estate may, under certain circumstances, be satisfied by the portion of ownership previously owned by the deceased, but now owned by the survivor or survivors. In other words, the deceased's liabilities can sometimes remain attached to the property. A creditor is a party (e. ... Estate is a term used in the common law. ...


This form of ownership is common between husband and wife, and parent and child, and in any other situation where parties want absolute ownership to immediately pass to the survivor. For bank and brokerage accounts held in this fashion, the acronym JTWROS is commonly appended to the account name as evidence of the owners' intent.


In order to create this type joint ownership, the party or parties seeking to create it must use specific language indicating that intent. For example, if Joey wishes to convey property for Kelly and Lisa to share as joint tenants with right of survivorship, Joey must state in the deed that the property is being conveyed "to Kelly and Lisa as joint tenants with right of survivorship, and not as tenants in common." A deed is a legal instrument used to grant a right. ...


The four unities

In order for a JTWROS to be created, the co-owners must share the "four unities":

  • Time = the property interest must be acquired by both tenants at the same time.
  • Title = both tenants must have the same title to the property in the deed - if the deed places a condition on one tenant and not the other, they do not have the same title, and the attempt to create a JTWROS is invalid.
  • Interest = both tenants must have the same interest in the property - e.g. three owners each having a 1/3 interest.
  • Possession = both tenants must have the right to possess the whole property - if one owner can prove that he or she has been improperly excluded from the property by the other, the JTWROS will be invalidated.

If any one of the four unities is missing, the JTWROS is invalid, and becomes a tenancy in common.


Breaking a JTWROS

The co-tenant in property owned by a JTWROS can break the JTWROS as to their interest in the property at any time by conveying their interest in the property to another person. Under the old common law, this required an actual exchange with a straw man - another person who would buy the property from the co-tenant for some nominal consideration, then sell it back to the co-tenant at the same low price. Many states now permit a joint tenant to break the JTWROS without a straw man, simply by executing a document to that effect - even if that owner does not inform the other owners. In either case, the JTWROS will, again, revert to a tenancy in common as to that owner's interest in the property. In law, the term straw man can refer to a third party that acts as a front in a transaction (i. ...


It is important to note, however, that if there are three or more owners, and only one of the owners breaks the JTWROS, the other owners remain in the JTWROS as to each other. For example, suppose Joey, Kelly, and Lisa own a piece of property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, but then Joey conveys his share in the property to Ryan. If Ryan dies, his 1/3 share will go to his heirs. But if Kelly dies, her 1/3 share will go to Lisa, because they still owned their total 2/3 share in JTWROS.


Effect of a mortgage

Where one party takes out a mortgage on the jointly owned property, this may break the JWTROS, depending on the law of the state. Some states use a lien theory, which posits that the taking of a mortgage merely places a lien on the property, leaving the joint tenancy undisturbed. However, other states that use a title theory, contending that a mortgage actually conveys title to the mortgagor until the mortgage is paid. In such states, the taking of a mortgage by one owner breaks the joint tenancy as to that owner.


A creditor's judgment lien is not enough, no severance, if debtor dies before creditor sues, the creditor has no interest in the property left to collect against.


Tenancy by the entirety

Tenancy by the entirety is a type of concurrent estate available only to married couples, wherein ownership of the property is treated as though the husband and wife are a single legal person. Like a JTWROS, the tenancy by the entirety also encompasses a right of survivorship, so if one spouse dies, the entire interest in the property passes to the surviving spouse, without going through probate. Marriage is a relationship that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ...


In order for a tenancy by the entirety to be created, the party or parties seeking to create it must specify in the deed that the property is being conveyed to the couple "as tenants by the entirety". Also, the parties must share the four unities necessary to create a joint tenancy with right of survivorship - time, title, interest, and possession - plus a fifth unity, marriage. However, unlike a JTWROS, neither party in a tenancy by the entirety has a unilateral right to sever the tenancy by the entirety - if it is to be undone, or if any part of the property is to be conveyed to another person, this must be carried out by both husband and wife. A divorce breaks the unity of marriage, leaving the default tenancy – a tenancy in common.


External links

Note that every country and every state in the United States has at least minor variations on the law as applied to joint ownership of property. These links generally discuss the law as applied in the state from which they originate:

  • Massachusetts Association of Realtors page on Co-Ownership of Real Property

This outline discusses the general common law of joint ownership of property:

  • Lawspirit page on Concurrent Ownership

IRS Revenue Procedure 2002-20, which covers the finer details controlling what constitutes a Tenant in Common for federal tax purposes.

Tenant in Common Association

SocalTIC: A Tenant in Common matching service in California (2-4 Units)

  • SocalTIC

Tenancy By the Entirety in Massachusetts.


For a good discussion on this misunderstood estate see Coraccio v. Lowell Five Cents Savings Bank, 415 Mass. 145, 612 N.E. 2d 650. // Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court cases in special series of books called reporters or law reports. ...


There is nothing in the laws of Massachusetts, or New York as stated in Coraccio, to prevent one co-tenant from conveying her own or his own interest in the property, subject to the continuing rights of the other. While it is generally believed that one tenant by the entirety cannot convey their interest because the tenancy cannot be severed, rather it is the survivorship rights of the other that cannot be severed. Thus, if a husband conveyed his interest in the property held as tenants by the entirety to his brother, the husband no longer owns an interest in the property. The brother takes his (the husband's) place within the tenancy. Here is the tricky part: if the wife dies then the husband's brother acquires all interest in the real estate. If the husband dies before the wife then it all goes to her free and clear and the husband's brother has nothing. Some conveyancers have treated deeds by one tenant by the entirety as null. However, such a deed conveys the interest of the grantor in the property subject to the survivorship rights of the other co-tenant. KLussier Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ... Official language(s) English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq mi (141,205 km²)  - Width 285 miles (455 km)  - Length 330 miles (530 km)  - % water 13. ...


Tenancy By the Entirety at Common Law/effect of a conveyance by one


  Results from FactBites:
 
Concurrent Estate - Real Estate Articles - Call Spencer Realty of Pensacola FL for Pensacola homes for sale, gulf ... (1813 words)
A concurrent estate or co-tenancy is a concept in property law, particularly derived from the common law of real property, which describes the various ways in which property can be owned by more than one person at a given time.
Tenancy in common is the default form of concurrent estate, in which each owner, referred to as a tenant in common, is regarded by the law as each owning separate and distinct shares which may differ in size.
Tenancy by the entirety is a type of concurrent estate available only to married couples, wherein ownership of the property is treated as though the husband and wife are a single legal person.
No. 02SC166. Beach v. Beach. - June 30, 2003 - Colorado Supreme Court Opinions (2489 words)
Thus, a present life estate cannot be partitioned from a future remainder interest because the holders of the two interests possess the property successively, rather than concurrently.
A concurrent interest is a prerequisite for partition because the purpose of partition is to sever unity of possession.
Although the holders of the life estate and successive remainder interest do share a common interest in the property, "[t]his variety of simultaneously existent interests does not constitute the concurrent ownership, the splitting of which is the function of partition." Restatement (First) of Prop.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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