Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Joshua Tabers
The Varieties of Ownership
Ownership of a house or a piece of property is something that every American dreams about. Owning property gives a person a feeling of gratitude and accomplishment. Although ownership may sound simple, there are a few different ways that a person can own a piece of property. Of course there is sole ownership, but there are also other ways that a person can own a portion of a property. These different ways are Ownership in Severalty and Co-Ownership, which consists of four different areas.

The most common type of ownership is Ownership in Severalty, which as Real Estate Analysis states, is “When a single person or entity owns real estate.” So if a person goes out and buys a one acre piece of land, then him and only him owns that piece of land. The definition also states that Ownership in Severalty is also when a single entity owns property. This means that if a business that is considered a single entity owns a piece of property, then it is solely theirs.

If property is not Ownership in Severalty, then it is Co-Ownership. This is the opposite of Ownership in Severalty in which more than one person or entity owns a piece of property. The first type of co-ownership is tenancy in common. This kind of ownership is almost like a stock. Each owner may have a different percentage of ownership but they still own the property as a whole. Each owner has the right to do what they want with their portion of the property. If the property was to be sold then the gains would be administered by the amount owned by each partner.

Another type of co-ownership is joint tenancy, where the property divided equally between the partners. With tenancy in common, if an owner dies, then the ownership can be passed to a family member or someone else. But with joint tenancy there is something called a right of survivorship, which if an owner dies, then the portion of the ownership is taken over by the other owner or owners. Therefore if a person in their twenties decided to become joint tenants with two people in their sixty’s purchasing a piece of property, then the person in their twenties would most likely own the whole property eventually.

The last two types of co-ownerships have to do with marriage. Tenancy by the entirety is ownership between spouses. According to the Free Online Dictionary, tenancy by the entirety is  "A type of concurrent estate in real property held by a husband and wife whereby each owns the undivided whole of the property." This type of ownership is the same as a joint tenancy and has the right of survivorship, so if one spouse dies then the ownership goes to the other spouse. If the couple gets divorced then the ownership turns to a tenancy in common. When the couple is married, in order to sell the property, the couple must both agree on it. The other type of ownership dealing with marriage is community property. A couple may own a house together as tenants by the entirety, but any properties that they own outside of that ownership can be solely just one of the spouses. The property that a spouse owns that is separate must be something owned before marriage.

Although when most people think of ownership as something that only deals with a single person, there are also ways to own properties with multiple people or even as a business as well. Each kind of ownership has different specifications of what can and cannot be done. So even if a person is not able to own a piece of property themselves, they can still get a taste of the American dream as a co-owner of a property.

Works Cited:
Real Estate Analysis. J. Andrew Hansz and Julian Diaz III.


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