Concurrent ownership of property, such that each tenant, rather than having a distinct share in the property, is to be treated as far as outsiders are concerned as the single owner of the entire property. On the death of a joint tenant, his or her interest accrues for the benefit of those surviving. Joint tenancy is the assumed legal relationship when property is purchased together.
Simply put, this means that:
- Joint tenants have equal ownership and interest in the property
- A right of survivorship exists – i.e. if one joint tenant dies, the property will automatically transfer to the other joint tenant (regardless of contrary intentions specified in their will)
Joint tenancy will conclude when:
- The property is sold
- One joint tenant transfers their interest to the other (giving the other tenant ownership in full)
- One joint tenant unilaterally severs the joint tenancy (often used in cases of relationship breakdown)