If you are buying a home with another person, you will both have to decide how to take title (ownership) of that property.  There are two main options that are available:  (i) Tenancy In Common or (ii) Joint Tenancy.  The choice you make will have an impact on your subsequent legal rights.

Joint tenancy is a concurrent interest in which all joint tenants have a unified right of possession to the whole of the property, and each with a right of survivorship.  A right of survivorship ends the interests of deceased tenants and also enlarges the interests of the remaining joint tenants.  A joint tenancy must have what is known as the four unities: possession, interest, title and time.  Unity of possession refers to the undivided nature of the property which is enjoyed by all the tenants.  Unity of interest means that the interest must be of the exact same size and duration.  Unity of title requires that tenants acquire their titles from the same document.  Unity of time refers to the requirement that the tenants acquire their titles at the same time.

Unless a very specific contrary intention appears, where all joint tenants die at the same time in circumstances rendering it uncertain as to the order of death, each person is deemed to have held property as tenants in common.

Tenancy in common is a concurrent interest in which all tenants in common have an undivided fractional share of the whole.  The tenants do not have a right of survivorship, and can grant or devise the interest in any manner they choose.  Tenancy in common only requires a unity of possession.

Any act that destroys any of the four unities required for a joint tenancy would result in a severance and create a tenancy in common.  As a result, the right of survivorship is eliminated and each would hold undivided shares that are devisable.  Severance may be achieved by all joint tenants signing a deed to sever;  this must be registered. Severance may be achieved unilaterally and without notice, if one tenant grants away his title, for example.  In cases with many joint tenants, only those relations affected by the severance would become tenants in common to each other, those not affected would remain joint tenants.

Co-owners may be compelled to make or suffer partition.  Pursuant to s.3(1) of the Partition Act, any party with an interest in land in Ontario may take proceedings to partition such land or for the sale thereof if that sale is considered to be more advantageous to the parties interested.  The courts will make a determination that is least prejudicial to all parties involved.

*Disclaimer:  The information provided in this article is NOT legal advice but fundamental information to be further inquired upon professionally.  You should always consult with a qualified lawyer to obtain proper advice.

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Evelyn Burnette
Evelyn Burnette
06:08 12 Mar 18
We have a family business and one day we found ourselves in a legal situation in which we felt completely overwhelmed and helpless. We quickly realized there’s a whole different world out there that we know nothing about. Reached out to David and he quickly wrapped himself around our case. We know he was working around the clock. In a matter of days, we had a solid argument. He is sharp, candid and a true professional. Not sure how an attorney can help a client ANY better. Absolutely no hesitation recommending him.
Julia Austerlitz
Julia Austerlitz
00:15 10 Mar 18
When I was looking for a divorce lawyer, the most important thing to me was finding someone who would be easy to communicate with. I was anticipating a nasty custody battle and the last thing I wanted was a lawyer who was hard to get a hold of or who didn’t make me feel like my case was a priority. David Costa and Robin Mann were exactly what I was looking for. They responded quickly to all of my emails, took all of my concerns very seriously and above all, is very knowledgeable about family law. This was such a difficult phase of my life and they helped me to get through to the end of it with the best possible outcome. I highly recommend this law firm.
Ben Valencia
Ben Valencia
12:47 09 Mar 18
Mr. Costa and his wonderful assistant couldn't have been anymore professional. It's unfortunate I had to meet them under these circumstances but I wouldn't have chosen anyone different to represent me if I could. They’ve always kept me up to date on things I needed to get done and both were available when I had questions. They are first class in my book.
Daniel Hardison
Daniel Hardison
06:56 09 Mar 18
Have utilized David's services several times over the last five years. He always is quick to respond (even when he was on vacation), knows the real estate business inside out. His expertise always gives me the confidence the deal is done right.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
20:08 13 Dec 17
Costa Law were a tremendous help in solving my legal issues. David and his team were professional, efficient, thorough and compassionate. Everyone involved capably assisted me in understanding the issues and the possible outcomes. I could not be happier with the results and would encourage anyone needing legal help to contact them. Best law group in the town. Thanks to everyone at Costa Law!!!
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