Who else is on your real estate title with you and what does that mean? What if a co-owner dies or wants to sell their share? It depends on your relationship. The following are the three basic co-tenancies to hold real estate title in Florida and each of their unities.
- Tenancy in Common – The only unity is Unity of Possession. Each person in the co-tenancy had the right to possess the property. The parties can own the property in whatever percentages they want. Any party can sell their interest to anyone without notice to the other owners.
- Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship – There are four unities:
- Unity of Possession (just like Tenancy in Common)
- Unity of Time (the co-tenants must take title at the same time)
- Unity of Title (they must take title on the same instrument)
- Unity of Interest (each party has the same percentage interest as the others)
Any of the co-tenants can break the joint tenancy with rights of survivorship by conveying their interest to anyone else.
- Tenancy by Entirety – This includes the unities of Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship plus the Unity of Marriage, which subscribes to the legal fiction that husband and wife are one entity. As long as the marriage is intact, neither can break the tenancy nor otherwise convey the property. However, upon the dissolution of the marriage, the property is automatically held as Tenancy in Common.
Seek competent legal counsel to learn more about your ownership rights as a co-tenant on real estate title.