How to Sever Tenants in Common

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A compound lease can be severed.
A compound lease can be severed. (Image: keys to the apartments in hand image by S from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Tenancy in common is a form of ownership which allows a property to be vested (or held) by two or more people. A tenant in common has the right to sell, convey or transfer his interest in a co-owned property without consent of the other co-owner(s). Thus, one of the following actions must be taken to sever (terminate) the tenants in common co-ownership.

Sell the co-owned property and split the profits according to the percentage of ownership. For this option to be viable, all parties must agree to selling the property.

Sell the property and split the profits.
Sell the property and split the profits. (Image: for sale sign image by Attila Toro from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Buy out the interest of all other co-owners of the property. The tenancy in common will end when a single co-tenant acquires the title, thereby merging the entire interest in one person.

One owner may buy out the interest of the others.
One owner may buy out the interest of the others. (Image: home building sign and one people sign image by T.Tulic from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

File for a partition of the property to dissolve the relationship. This is a legal action that must be done in court. If the court is unable to divide the property among owners, it will call for the real estate to be sold. The proceeds of the sale will be divided among the co-owners according to the percentage of ownership.

The co-ownership may be severed by a partition action.
The co-ownership may be severed by a partition action. (Image: Justice image by MVit from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Tips & Warnings

  • It should be noted that tenant in common ownership will be severed by the death of a co-tenant.

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