Tenancy in common refers to the ownership of a property by two or more people but the property remains undivided regardless of the shares they have (Dixon, 2007). It is one of the most common forms of joint possessions. A tenancy in common is created by the use of a contract which is referred to as ‘tenancy in common agreement’. This contract documents each owner’s common percentage in the property. A tenancy in common may be terminated in one of three ways. The first way is by severing the tenancy in common. This is whereby the co-owners agree to become the sole owners of their physical shares of the property. The second way is by seeking judicial partitioning. In this case, the court makes the division of the property according to the shares of the co-owners and if this is impossible, then the court forces the sale and the profits are divided according to the percentage of the shares. The third way is by use of an ouster. In as much as this method can be used, it is prone to sues from co-owners for their fair rental value portion (Clarke, 2017).
Garrett and Joe are tenants in common for a property containing horse barns. Garrett believes that placing additional horse troughs will benefit the property. Garrett spends several thousand dollars on horse troughs for the property. Garrett requests that Joe contribute to half the money for the horse troughs. Joe refuses to pay any money. Will Garrett successfully seek reimbursement for the horse troughs from Joe? Why or why not?
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Garrett will not successfully seek reimbursement. First of all, the only way each of these tenants can receive their quantifiable share in the property is when it is sold but, until then, there is no compelling reason for Garret to receive the reimbursement. Secondly, Garrett can only receive reimbursement when it has been determined that the troughs benefited the property in terms of value. In this case, his shares will have been increased and after selling the property (if that will happen), then he can receive his share according to the percentage input towards the property. Thirdly, if there was no agreement of a contract of any sorts between Garrett and Joe before the troughs were bought, then Joe is in no way obligated to reimburse Garrett.
Aaron, Bob and Carol are tenants in common of Purpleacre. Aaron has substantial debts and judgments against him. If a creditor obtains a judgment against Aaron that attaches to Purpleacre, will the judgment be against the whole of Purpleacre? Why or why not?
The judgment will not be against the whole of Pupleacre because Aaron is not the sole owner of the property and the others cannot be implicated on his legal affairs. However, if he was to transfer ownership to the debtors, then all his rights to the property would be transferred along.
Aaron, Bob and Carol are tenants in common of Purpleacre. Bob keeps dynamite for his explosives business on his area of Purpleacre. Purpleacre is next to a busy street frequented by many pedestrians. One pedestrian, Pete, decides to trespass across Purpleacre to get a neighborhood on the opposite side of Purpleacre. Pete is an avid smoker, and carelessly throws his partially smoked, lit cigarette through an open window of what he thinks is a dilapidated shack. Unfortunately for Pete, the shack is where Bob stores his dynamite. Thirty seconds after having tossed the lit cigarette into the shack, the dynamite explodes, sending fragments of metal and wood into Pete’s body. Although severely injured, Pete lives. Pete (of course) sues Aaron, Bob and Carol. Aaron asserts a defense that he should not be liable because the dynamite was stored in the shack that Bob controlled. Will Aaron’s defense work? Who will Pete recover against, if anyone?
Aaron’s defense will work. Pete will not recover from anyone because the dynamite was not stored in an open place. Additionally, it has been mentioned that Pete carelessly throws his partially lit cigarette. If he was careful to dispose off the remaining cigarette in the right way (usually stepping on the cigarette to put it off completely), then he would not have been injured.
What does the term ‘ouster’ mean?
An ouster is a wrong way or method of dispossessing a person who is entitled to a property. However, this method has consequences. The dispossessed client has legal grounds to sue for the return of their property.
Can tenants in common modify their tenancy relationship? Why or why not?
Yes they can modify their relationship. This is because the tenancy in common agreement allows the co-owners to transfer ownership, rent out their share and sale to a third person. The relationship can be modified if one of the parties buys out the other parties or if the property is sold and the proceeds are shared among them. A partition action can also be filed to allow one of the owners sell his/her stake (Clarke, 2017) .
What happens to property held in tenancy at common if one of the tenants dies?
The property is passed on to his heir or beneficiaries as it may have been stated in an existing will. Where a right of survivorship exists, the share of the co-owner is divided equally among the remaining co-owners.
10) What are some of the desirable aspects to tenancy in common? In other words, why would someone potentially want to be a tenant in common?
There is more property acquired at a cheaper stake. The risk of a business can be spread out to reduce losses incurred.
Clarke, P. (2017). Terminating a Tenancy in Common | LegalMatch Law Library . Legalmatch.com . Retrieved 5 March 2017, from http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/terminating-a-tenancy-in-common.html
Dixon, M. (2007). Modern land law (1st ed.). London: Cavendish Publishing Limited.
Galaty, F. W., Allaway, W. J., Kyle, R. C., & Taylor, G. W. (2003). Modern real estate practice in North Carolina . Chicago, IL: Dearborn Real Estate Education. Bottom of Form