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Tenancy in Common

A way for two or more persons to own property together. Tenants in common may own equal or unequal shares of the property, and there are no rights of survivorship. That is, when one of the co-owners dies, his/her share of the property becomes part of his/her estate and passes on to heirs. This is an arrangement common in joint business ventures: if two persons own an apartment complex and one of them dies, his/her share of the complex passes to his/her beneficiaries and does not pass to the other co-owner.


When two or more people own property as tenants-in-common (TIC), they share in the property's tax benefits, any income it generates, and its growth in value, as well as expenses of ownership.

If one owner dies, that owner's share of the property becomes part of his or her estate, to be sold or distributed among heirs as the owner instructs.

TIC arrangements are a popular way to structure the ownership of real estate investments, in which two or more parties buy commercial property to generate income. However, siblings might also own family property in this way, as might business partners.

References in periodicals archive ?
Holding real estate as a partnership is more complicated and expensive than joint tenancy or tenancy-in-common.
2002-22 offers guidelines for structuring tenancy-in-common ownership of relinquished property for the period before completion of the exchange.
2002-22, tenancy-in-common co-ownerships should not (1) file a partnership tax return, (2) conduct business under a common name, (3) hold themselves out or identify themselves as partners, by agreement or otherwise and (4) indicate to third parties that they are conducting their real estate activities as a partnership.
The leading candidates for an FTB audit are those where the ownership is changed from a partnership to a tenancy-in-common only a few minutes or hours before its disposition.