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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.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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4460311
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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
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Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
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Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Joint Tenancy Questions

  • 3 people have joint-tenancy and with the right of survivorship. see

    3 people have joint-tenancy and with the right of survivorship.
    see documents:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6pz7y7YCm-fbnc2TXUyTDE0QUU/view?usp=sharing
    Ron passed away on 12/11/14.
    questions:
    1) do I need to do anything else to own the property? or survivors automatically own the property?
    2) The house has loan of $220k on Ron's name who passed away , can we just keep paying mortgage and inherit the loan ?
    Ron had other houses without trust. we worry about that probation might sell other properties. At the same time, they might try to sell THIS one with joint tenancy. what should I do to avoid that just in case.
    3) looks like Ronald passed away, survivors own the house. But Ron owns the loan ?
    is there such a good thing ? if yes, Ron's other property probation will pay the loan, right ?
    Thanks for advise.
    Benjamin
  • My daughter is divorced and her ex-husband is being sued. The

    My daughter is divorced and her ex-husband is being sued. The sue is from a girlfriend, he lived with for a few years in her house , the amount of sue is $60,000.00
    My daughter and her ex-husband own a house $250,000.00. They keep the house in both their names for the 2 children and have it rented out . They will use it for their college education when the time comes.
    How can I and my daughter protect her interest in the from the law suit if she wins ?
    The suit case is in 20 days
  • My father and a grandson co-borrowed a mortgage out of state.My

    My father and a grandson co-borrowed a mortgage out of state.My father died. The grandson has joint tenancy.If this grandson defalts on the loan can the grandfathers estate be held responsible for the loan. The man has been dead for two years.
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