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California Concurrent Ownership

Concurrent Ownership

There are three (3) types of concurrent ownership in California:

1. Tenancy in Common,

2. Joint Tenancy, and

3. Community Property.

Tenancy in Common

When two or more persons are owners of an undivided interest in an estate, a tenancy in common exists. Their interests need not be equal but each tenant has an undivided ownership of the property under a single common title. There is a requirement of unity, meaning that the tenants have an equal right of possession to the property.

Each co-tenant is entitled to full use of the property and may not be excluded by the others. They must pay a proportionate share of the expenses such as taxes, maintenance or insurance but are not obligated to contribute to improvements on the land.

Each co-tenant may sell their share without the consent of the other co-tenants. Upon death, the surviving co-tenants continue to maintain their undivided interest and heirs may only inherit the deceased co-tenant's share.

Joint Tenancy

There are four (4) unities of joint tenancy:

1. Unity of Time,

2. Unity of Title,

3. Unity of Interest, and

4. Unity of Possession.

Joint tenancy involves the right of survivorship along with the above four unities. If one of the joint tenants dies, the surviving joint tenants become the remaining owner of the property rather than it passing down to heirs. Further, a joint tenant may sever their interest by selling it. Joint tenancy may be severed if any of the four unities are ended.

Community Property

Community property is a form of concurrent ownership that exists between spouses. While parties are domiciled in California, all property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered community property. Property acquired before the marriage or via gift/inheritance, or property derived from a separate source is excluded property (from the community).

Do you have questions regarding your property ownership? If so, please contact Aziz Legal by phone at (408) 203-4627 or email us at

This article is merely informational and is not intended to be used as legal advice. Use of any information from this article is for general information only and does not represent personal legal or tax advice, either express or implied. Readers are encouraged to consult Aziz Legal, or another attorney, for any specific legal matters.

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