Tenant In Common/Asset Acquisition

What is a Tenant in Common?

Tenants in common are individuals or parties who jointly own a property with one or more other parties. When property is owned by tenants in common, the ownership of the asset is different than other real property ownership arrangements. Tenants in common generally require ancillary agreements between the owners to properly manage the affairs of the property. Additionally, property management, conveyance, debt service, and other associated issues, such as 1031 exchange require an understanding of both ownership and lending practices.

How does a TIC Agreement Work?

When parties decide to purchase or own property together, as Tenants in Common, the undivided interest of each necessitates certain agreement and understanding related to the ownership and management of the property. This understanding is memorialized in what is called a "Tenant in Common Agreement". 

What if one party decides to leave the agreement?

In the event that someone decides to leave the agreement, one or more of the co-tenants are able to buy out the other shares. If the other co-tenants are unwilling to sell, a co-tenant may need to file an action to partition the property or subject to the default provisions of the Tenant in Common Agreement an uncooperative owner can be divested of that owner's interest in the property. The complexity of such a provision needs to be navigated by an experienced Tenant in Common attorney.

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How does ownership work?

Even though tenants in common can't claim ownership of specific parts of the property, they can have different levels of interest; for example, one owner may have a 25% share of the property and another own 75%. Tenancy in common agreements can be created at any time, meaning an individual can buy into the property after the others have entered into their ownership agreement, even after a period of years.

Whereas, joint tenants receive equal shares of a property with the same deed at the same time. Their terms are detailed in the deed, title, and other legally binding ownership documents. Joint tenancy may be the default for married couples in some states, while other states may use tenancy in common as the default.

Tenancy in common is also different from "tenancy by the entirety," which refers to married property owners who have equal and undivided interests in the property.

What happens when someone in the TIC agreement dies?

When one of the owners dies, their interest in the property passes to their estate. By contrast, joint tenancy allows their interest to be passed automatically to the surviving owners. This process may be further complicated by any existing loan documents and prohibitions.

Why should I hire an attorney if I'm looking to become a tenant in common?

Tenant in Common agreements are complex, especially regarding ownership rights, property management, property proceeds, taxes, mortgages, conveyance, and liability. For those reasons, working with an experienced real estate and business attorney is important for ensuring that everyone's share of these expenses is relevant to their respective ownership interests.

If you have questions about becoming a tenant in common, purchasing a property with other parties, or the pros and cons of doing so, please reach out to me today. I can provide you with detailed answers to your concerns and help you understand the best approach to the situation.

Tenant in Common Attorney in Meridian, Idaho

For over ten years, David M. Fogg has provided experienced legal guidance to parties looking to purchase a shared interest in a property with their business partners or others. If you have questions about how a tenancy in common agreement works or need help with an existing tenant in common agreement, call David today for a consultation and learn how he can help you find an optimal solution.