Laws related to co-ownership of a joint property

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April 14, 2021
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

What does Co-ownership of property mean?

Co-ownership or joint ownership means when two or more persons hold title to the same property. Co-owners of a property mean all the owners of that particulare property. Any co-owner can transfer his/her personal share in such property to a co-owner or even a stranger which results in that transferee stepping into the shoes of the co-owner. A co-owner generally has the right to possession, right to use and even dispose off the property.

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What are the types of co-ownership?

There are a few types of co-ownerships. These have been explained below:

Tenants in Common: When two or more people buy a property but do not specifically mention the share that each has in the property, a 'tenancy-in-common' is said to exist. All the co-owners can use the entire property and every co-owner is deemed to be having an equal share in the property. Each tnenant-in-common has a separate fractional interest in the property. However, each tenant-in-common may possess and use the entire property. Each tenant-in-common can freely transfer his/her interest in such property. Tenants-in-common dont have the right of survivorship. Hence, if one dies, his/her interest passes by way of Will or through laws of intestacy to another individual who can then become a tenant-in-common, along with the surviving co-owners.

Joint Tenancy: Joint tenancy is a form of co-ownership where the property is owned by two or more persons at the same time in equal shares. This type of tenancy provides rights to ownership of the property for the co-owners who outlive other co-owners. Joint tenancy entails the right of survivorship. If one such co-owner dies, it is immediately passed on to the surviving/other joint tenants. All the joint tenants have a single unified interest in the whole property. Joint tenancy must have an undivided interests in the entire property, and not divided interests in separate parts. A joint tenancy can be created by a Will or a Deed. Each joint tenantshould have estates of the same type and duration as well.

Tenancy by entirety: This is a special form of joint tenancy when the joint tenants are namely the husband and wife -- with each owning one-half. To exist, tenancy by entirety requires the two co-owners to be married i.e. husband and wife. Under this type of co-ownership, no one spouse is allowed to convey or transfer his/her interest to a 3rd person. However, the husband or the wife can convey his/her share to their spouse. A tenancy by entirity can only be terminated by way of divorce, death or a mutual agreement between the husband and wife. Such terminated tenancy becomes tenancy in common.

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What are laws related to transfer of property by a co-owner?

Section 44 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 deals with transfer by a co-owner and it also deals with the rights of a transferee in this type of a transaction.

According to this Act, every joint or co-owner has a proprietary right on the entire property. Hence, any sale has to be done with the consent of all co-owners involved.If, however, there are specific conditions in the agreement that gives co-owners exclusive rights to certain parts/portions of the property, a co-owner can sell his portion to whom he chooses.

What are the rights of a co-owner?

A co-owner is entitled to three essentials of ownership:

Why is co-ownership better?

If you are a married couple, co-owning a house with your spouse has many benefits. Both can get tax benefits. In case of a joint ownership, the husband, as well as the wife individually, will be able to claim deductions under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act. In order to understand why co-ownership is better, you must take the help of a good property lawyer, who will be able to guide you in the right direction after understanding the facts and circumstances of your case.You can also use LawRato'sFree Legal Adviceservice to get free advice on your case from expert propertylawyers.



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User Reviews

4.9 - 25 reviews

very good articl on joint ownership

Aparna on Sep 01, 2021

do u require consent of partner to sell joint property?

Bharat on Oct 13, 2021

need a property lawyer. How to find on lawrato?

Chandra on Sep 22, 2021

what to do if co-owner is not ready to sell the property?

Gopal on Sep 24, 2021

Nice article. Please provide more info on co-ownership disputes

Meenakshi on Sep 22, 2021

Very helpful in understanding the law.

Saurabh on Sep 21, 2021

thank you for the article

Karthik on Sep 25, 2021

good article and easy to understand

Sourav on Sep 03, 2021

needed more information. Where to call?

Mukesh on Sep 09, 2021

Written plainly to be understood by anyone who is from a non-legal background.

Akhil on Oct 10, 2021

good article. Can you share more detail

Monika on Sep 13, 2021

needed more information on the law

Suman on Sep 21, 2021

good article. Can you give some more detail on the issue.

Ayush on Sep 03, 2021

The writer has explained the law perfectly.

Tushar on Sep 05, 2021

I want to know more about this law. Good work

Shobha on Sep 19, 2021

nice legal article.

Komal on Sep 09, 2021

thanks for the information

Kavita on Oct 06, 2021

Thanks for the detailed article.

Ranjit on Oct 08, 2021

needed legal advice…who to call

Sheetal on Oct 08, 2021

how to contact a lawyer from your website

Sudhakar on Sep 22, 2021

good legal subject

Ankush on Aug 30, 2021

Detailed and informative.

Lalit on Sep 19, 2021

very well written

Chetan on Sep 26, 2021

thanks for the advice

Sanjeev on Oct 14, 2021

thank you for the information

Sandhya on Sep 23, 2021