Laws related to co-ownership of a joint property

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June 25, 2022
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.


Comments by Users

My sister and i a co owner of a flat .. she has kept a roommate without my consent and m not comfortable with him ..can I ask the roommate to leave as a 50 %owner or the property?

My father and my father brothers having joint land now my fathers brother is selling whole land how to i get my share in that land

Reply by LawRato
A co-owner is entitled to the right to possess, use, and dispose off (sell) their share in the property. Please note that the co-owner can only sell their share in the property. If they want to sell the entire property they will have to obtain a consent agreement for partition of the property from the other co-owner. For best advice/consultation, please contact a property lawyer.

Alok Singh
I have a property in joint name with my wife, and I have been paying complete installments from my account. Can I legally get complete ownership of the same??

Reply by LawRato
Co-ownership or joint ownership indicates that two or more persons have an interest in a peoperty. Joint ownership can take the form of sole ownership when a co-owner transfer their share in property to the other co-owner or through partition. For best advice, you can consult a property lawyer.

Kunal kumar
Is it possible to purchase propert in greater noida in the name of wife and mother together?

Reply by LawRato
There is no law which specifically lists persons or relations who can be the co-owners of property jointly. Generally, both lenders and sellers prefer close relatives of a person such as a spouse, parents, and children as the co-owner. Although property can be bought in the name of the wife and the mother together, regardless of the area, it is ultimately at the discretion of the seller.

Can wife (co-owner) restrict husband (co-owner) to collect handover of a jointly owned flat?

Legal co owner are husband and wife .after husband death all legal heir like wife son and daughter are the legal heirof that property or it will be transferred to only wife

Legal heirs are co owners, if after death of husband can wife and son are legal heirs of property, can one legal heir sell their undevided property

These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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User Reviews

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do u require consent of partner to sell joint property?

Surender on Jul 04, 2022

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

Keshav on Jul 02, 2022

very good articl on joint ownership

Renu on Jul 14, 2022

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

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Pallavi on Jul 21, 2022

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Mani on Jul 28, 2022

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Deepika on Jul 03, 2022

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Babita on Jul 18, 2022

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Narayan on Jul 24, 2022

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Mohan on Jun 28, 2022

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Karthik on Jul 19, 2022

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Kumar on Aug 04, 2022

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Sudhir on Jul 14, 2022

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Suraj on Jul 07, 2022

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Sudhir on Jul 06, 2022

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Rohit on Jul 16, 2022

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Yogesh on Jul 19, 2022

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Jyothi on Jul 12, 2022