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Questions about Joint Tenancy Laws

Joint tenancy is when two or more people own a property in which they each have an equal right of ownership. This kind of tenancy also has a clause called the right to survivorship. This basically means that when one of the tenants dies, the property will automatically be transferred to the remaining tenants. If you are in a joint tenancy agreement with someone and have questions about how it works, Real Estate Lawyers on JustAnswer can help with legal information.

Listed below are some top questions on joint tenancy related issues.

We would like to remove my son and daughter-in-law from a joint tenancy deed on our second house. How can we do it?

According to the law, a tenant in common or a joint tenant can end the co-tenancy by suing for partition. The court can then automatically grant the partition with no need to show case. There are two ways in which it can grant this. One way is by granting partition in kind and another way is by granting partition by sale—this could be either by physically dividing the land or by selling the land and dividing the proceeds from it. In addition to this, a joint tenancy can be ended or severed by a co-tenant by conveying his/her interest to another individual, usually by means of a sale. If you get in touch with your local legal aid clinic, they can help you with filing the proper papers in court.

I have property located in Michigan and own one-seventh a share in a joint tenancy agreement with my siblings. Five of us siblings would like to transfer our shares to a sixth sibling so that he can stay in the house. I’d like to know if we can do this even if the seventh sibling wants to continue to hold his share?

You should be able to transfer your shares. But the same way in which the sixth sibling has a right to live in the property, so does the seventh. If the sixth sibling would like to force the seventh sibling out, he could file a partition lawsuit which would force the sale of the house. Based on the court’s orders, the property would have to be appraised and then the judge could allow either sibling to buy the other one out at a fair market value. If there are no takers for this, the property can be auctioned and the sixth sibling could buy the property at the auction. The one advantage the sixth sibling has is that a partition suit cannot be stopped by anyone. All he has to do is to get in touch with a local real estate lawyer to start the proceedings.

In a joint tenancy, can one tenant sell their part of the ownership without informing the other tenant?

In a joint tenancy, all the co-owners have an equal right over the property but none of them can act on their shares without informing the others. Also, in the event that one of the joint tenants passes away, their share of the property would be automatically divided and transferred to the other co-owners equally.

In a joint tenancy, can half the property be sold to the other tenant?

Yes, this can be done. This would work like any other real estate transfer. You would first need to create a deed and convey interest to the other party. Then you would need to get the deed witnessed and notarized and then recorded in the real estate property records of the city in which the property is situated. In case the property has a debt riding on it, you would need to also make sure that the lender releases the seller from liability on the mortgage.

In a joint tenancy, each tenant has an equal right over the property. And if the property is sold, then the law requires the proceeds be divided equally among the tenants. However, there are still ways in which disputes can arise over a variety of things in a joint tenancy agreement. That is why you need to understand your rights fully as a joint tenant.
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Recent Joint Tenancy Questions

  • I own a condo in New Jersey, my name is ***** ***** deed , my wife

    I own a condo in New Jersey, my name is ***** ***** deed , my wife does our accounting,
    but her name is ***** ***** the deed,
    Anyway my Condo Management agency is telling my wife that she can't change the
    billing address, and do several other financial administrative functions because she is not
    on the deed .... This is ironic considering she has been the one writing checks to them
    for ten years ... (Now - I know I can put her name on the deed and solve the problem and I will however ) ....
    This seems like malarkey ...
    I mean what if I told them that she had a power of attorney that is one way around this right ... but do I even need to do that .... it seems out of line ...
    Isn't their an implied Joint Tenancy with a wife ....
    Thanks
    Greg
  • My question : I have 2 houses with a friend and 2 with a sister

    My question : I have 2 houses with a friend and 2 with a sister they both want me on the deeds god forbid something happen to both . Now the quit claims are ready to record .
    I am having trouble with PRELIMINARY REPORT. 2 years ago there was a section on the prelim that stated this : did the transfer result in the creation of a joint tenancy in which the seller remains as one of the the tenants YES. ( this is no longer on the prelim) now it states 1) this is a transfer between parties in which proportional interest of the transferor and transferee in each and every parcel being transferred remain exactly the same after the transfer # ***** from a trust that may be revoked by the creater/grantor/trustor who is a joint tenant and which names the other joint tenant when the creator/g/t dies
  • how do i change title to joint tenancy in Wa state?

    how do i change title to joint tenancy in Wa state?
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