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How to deal with Co-Ownership of Property

co-ownership and joint tenancy

Akul and Swati were a happily married couple until they decided to divorce. When Akul had insisted on sharing all the things, including their house, which was jointly owned by them, he hired a lawyer to handle his claim. The lawyer, later explaining all the financial compliment to her, succeeded in convincing “ignorant” Swati that she had no share in the property.

So, what is the joint ownership or co-ownership of a property?

Co-ownership of property or joint ownership if two or more persons hold title to the same estate.

Types of co-ownership


When more than one person owns the title of a house but their share is not specifically mentioned, this is referred to as a “tenancy-in-common”. All owners can use the entire property and each co-owner has an equal share in the house. With the death of one of the joint owners, the interest in the property does not pass to the other co-owners. The property shall go to the person named in the will of the deceased. He then becomes a tenant-in-common with the surviving co-owners.

Joint tenancy: It is a form of co-ownership if the property belongs to more than one person in equal parts. This kind of tenancy gives rights to ownership of the property for the co-owners who outlive other co-owners. In contrast to common tenants, where a joint tenant dies, his interest is automatically passed on to the other surviving joint tenants. There are four legal requirements that contribute to the creation of a joint tenancy:

Unity of time, the unity of possession, and unity of the title, which means that the co-owners must receive the same title at the same time, the same deed and with even interests.

Four, tenancy by the entirety, which is a special form of joint tenancy, where the joint tenant husband and wife – each with ownership of the property in 50:50 ratio. Neither spouse can sell the property without the consent of the other party. Apart from the four aspects mentioned in the joint tenancy, another aspect is equally critical. It is the marriage that can be ended only by divorce or death. Such termination, however, results in the ownership being converted into tenancy-in-common. In such a case, it is important to uncover the laws on the transfer of property in order to be clear about their own rights.

SEE:- Partition of Property between Co-owners

Transfer of Property Act

Section 44 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 speaks of the transfer by a co-owner and also deals with the rights of a transferee. Under the law, any joint or co-owner has a proprietary right of the entire estate. In short, any sale must be done with the consent of all co-owners concerned. On the contrary, if there are special conditions in the agreement which give the co-owners exclusive rights in certain parts/parts of the property, a joint-owner may sell his part to which he chooses

What are the rights of a co-owner?

A co-owner is entitled to three essential property rights. This includes the right to possession, the right to use and the right to dispose of its share of the house if clearly stated in the document.

If a co-owner is deprived of her house, she has the right to be repossessed. For example, in Swati’s case, she can claim her share in the house.

Is co-ownership of property better?

Yes, if you are a couple. A co-ownership with your spouse also has many tax advantages. In the case of co-ownership, both the husband and the wife can individually will be able to claim deductions for up to 1.5 Lakh for interest and up to 1 Lakh on principal under the Income Tax Act. It also allows easy transfer of property to your children.


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