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Define Joint Tenancy in Real Estate

Joint Tenancy: 

Joint tenancy is a type of property ownership where two or more people share an equal and undivided interest in the same property. It means that each person owns the entire property together, not just a separate piece of it. When one owner dies, their share of the property automatically goes to the other owner(s) and not to their heirs.


For example, let's say that John and Jane are joint tenants of a house. They both own the entire house together, not just half of it each. If John dies, his share of the house automatically goes to Jane, and she becomes the sole owner of the property.

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Here are a few more things you should know about joint tenancy:

Right of Survivorship: One of the key features of joint tenancy is the right of survivorship, which means that when one owner dies, their share automatically passes to the surviving owner(s). This is different from other forms of property ownership, where the deceased owner's share would pass to their heirs according to their will or through intestacy laws.

Equal Ownership: Joint tenants must own equal shares of the property. This means that if there are two joint tenants, each owns 50% of the property. If there are three joint tenants, each owns one-third of the property, and so on.

Same Start Time: Joint tenancy requires that all owners acquire their interest in the property at the same time. This means that all owners must have received the property through the same deed or other conveyance.

Severability: Joint tenancy can be severed if one of the owners decides to sell or transfer their interest in the property. This would convert the joint tenancy into a tenancy in common, which is a different type of property ownership that does not include the right of survivorship.

Estate Planning: Joint tenancy can be a useful estate planning tool for people who want to ensure that their property passes directly to their intended beneficiary without the need for probate. However, it's important to consider the potential tax and legal implications before deciding whether joint tenancy is the best option for your situation.
Illustration of Dumb Ox mascot.

"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

Oh, joint tenancy, let me tell you what it means,
It's when two or more people own a property like a team.
Each person owns the whole thing, not just a little part,
And when one owner passes, their share goes to the other's heart.

Equal interests, same start time, and conveyed just the same,
It's a special kind of ownership with a special kind of name.
So, if you're buying a house with your friends or your kin,
Joint tenancy might be the way to begin!

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