Search Site
Menu
Cotenancy: Unique Relationship of Co-Ownership

There are many situations where attorneys must address a client’s co-ownership issues.  The basis of a cotenancy relationship is each owner’s (non-exclusive) right to use, occupy and possess each part of the property.  Cotenants may not exclude other cotenant owners from possessing, using or occupying the same part or parcel.  Texas law recognizes three forms of cotenancy: community property, joint tenants with the right of survivorship, and tenants in common.

Community property is a type of co-ownership that is formed when property is acquired during marriage.  The name on the deed or other title document is irrelevant.  The presumption in Texas is that all property acquired during marriage is owned jointly.  Also, it is a common misconception that community property automatically passes to a surviving spouse.  Especially in situations where the deceased did not have a last will and testament, the property may not pass to the surviving spouse.

Absent specific language to the contrary, if two non-married persons are co-owners then they are tenants in common.  Interests of a tenant in common will pass to that owner’s heirs or to the party named in the owner’s last will and testament.  There is no automatic right that the property will pass to the other owner.

However, if two co-owners wish for the property to pass automatically to the survivor, then they should agree in writing regarding this arrangement by adding the appropriate right of survivorship language to the applicable document.  This is then referred to as a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.  Property can be converted after acquisition from tenants in common to joint tenancy by executing later documentation.

We commonly receive requests from a spouse for the other spouse to be added to the title.  This can be accomplished by a deed transferring the property into both names.  However, both spouses must execute the deed.  In this scenario the parties can create either a co-tenancy or a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship by utilizing the correct language.  It is important to note that an added spouse in this situation does not automatically become financially liable for any loans previously associated with the property; this only occurs when a note is signed with the bank.  It is important to consult with an experienced attorney in order to create the type of co-ownership you desire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact a Dedicated Texas Business Lawyer To Schedule a Consultation
Call 281-367-1222 or contact us online to schedule a meeting.

Strong In Action

  • Spring 2019

    The Strong Firm represents borrower in $42.3 million HUD construction loan for multifamily real estate development in Walton County, Florida.

    Read More
  • Spring 2019

    The Strong Firm acts as legal counsel for borrower in $32.1 million HUD construction loan for multifamily real estate development in Conroe, Texas.

    Read More
  • Spring 2019

    The Strong Firm aids borrower in $31.7 million HUD construction loan for multifamily real estate development in Nueces County, Texas.

    Read More
  • Spring 2019

    The Strong Firm represents borrower in the refinancing of a $3.57 million commercial mortgage-backed security for a commercial office facility in Montgomery County, Texas.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  • Peer Rated 2019 Award

Recent Blog Posts

What Does “Community” Look Like During Social Distancing?

I will not say these times of COVID-19 are “unprecedented times”.  That is being overused and is obvious.  What is unique to these COVID-19 days, in my opinion, is the extent to which some are looking to government for decisions and related comfort from uncertainty rather than trying to find
Read More
What Does “Community” Look Like During Social Distancing?

Force Majeure: Breaking Contracts Over Coronavirus

Within days of the World Health Organization declaring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, we saw events cancelled, public gatherings restricted to 10 people, businesses closed, travel restricted, and school cancelled for our children. With each day and each unprecedented change, businesses have been forced to look at their contractual obligations
Read More
Force Majeure: Breaking Contracts Over Coronavirus

Foreclosure and Eviction Relief for Homeowners During the COVD-19 Crisis

In March 2020, our economy came to a screeching halt as COVID-19 swept through our countries, states, cities, and homes. Businesses have been ordered to close, and individuals told to stay home to stop the spread of the virus. National, state and local officials are taking necessary steps on a
Read More
Foreclosure and Eviction Relief for Homeowners During the COVD-19 Crisis

Update Regarding SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Response to COVID-19 for Texas Small Businesses

As discussed last week in our article entitled “SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Response to COVID-19,” on March 17, 2020 Texas Governor, Greg Abbot, requested an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) which would allow Texas businesses to access the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster
Read More
Update Regarding SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans in Response to COVID-19 for Texas Small Businesses
  • Video Vault


    Watch videos done by our legal team to gain a better understanding of your legal needs. Our lawyers give video insight into areas such as Real Estate, Business Law, Mergers & Acquisitions and much more.

Pay Retainer Online

Use our easy-to-use and secure online payment feature.
We accept all major credit cards.

Pay Your Retainer

Contact us

Quick Contact Form