tenancy in common:
1. A tenancy by two or more persons, in equal or unequal undivided shares, each person having an equal right to possess the whole property but no right of survivorship. — aka common tenancy; estate in common. Cf. joint tenancy. 
1. That tenancy whereby two more more persons are entitled to land in such manner that they have an undivided possession, but several freeholds or interest. 20 Am J2d Coten § 22.
A tenancy characterized by a single essential unity — that of possession, or the right to possession, of the common property. 20 Am J2d Coten § 23.
A tenancy in common of personal property is essentially similar to such a tenancy of real property, each tenant in common owning and possessing an undivided interest in the whole property. Re Engel’s Estate, 413 Pa 475, 198 A2d 505. 
1. A tenancy in which two more more persons own an undivided interest in an estate in land, for EXAMPLE, in a fee simple estate or a life estate, or in personal property, for EXAMPLE, in a savings account. As opposed to joint tenants, tenants in common have no right to survivorship; when a tenant in common dies, her interest passes to her heirs rather than to her cotenant or cotenants. 
Excerpt from A.C. Freeman’s Cotenancy and Partition (2d ed. 1886):
“If there be a doubt whether an estate was, at its creation, a joint-tenancy or a tenancy in common; or if, conceding the estate to have been a joint-tenancy at its creation, there be a doubt whether there has not been a subsequent severance of the jointure in all such cases equity will resolve the doubt in favor of tenancy in common.” 
Excerpt from Thomas F. Bergin and Paul G. Haskell’s Preface to Estates in Land and Future Interests (2d ed. 1984):
“The central characteristic of a tenancy in common is simply that each tenant is deemed to own by himself, with most of the attributes of independent ownership, a physically undivided part of the entire parcel.” 
Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.
: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6
: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949). Edited by William S. Anderson. © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931
: A.C. Freeman, Cotenancy and Partition 67 (2d ed. 1886).
: Thomas F. Bergin & Paul G. Haskell, Preface to Estates in Land and Future Interests 54 (2d ed. 1984).
Back to Types of Cotenancy
Back to Tenancy
Like this website?
or donate via PayPal:
This website is being broadcast for First Amendment purposes courtesy of
We look forward to hearing from you!