Co-owning a property in Santa Cruz can be a complex proposition; many of the clients that we here at The Law Office of Leo B. Siegel have worked with can attest to this fact. Your stake in the property will always be your primary concern. At the same time, what your co-owners do should also weigh heavily on your mind. For this reason, it is extremely important that you consider the type ownership will be most advantageous to you before buying into a venture.
The issues inherent with co-ownership often do not affect married couples. You and your spouse can purchase a home designated as community property, which automatically assigns joint ownership to both of you. Rather, this article refers to scenarios where you own properties along with other parties.
Among the more common types of co-ownership is "tenancy in common." This allows you to take title to property with other owners while maintaining full control over it. That includes who you can sell or pass your interest in the property to. In this scenario, while your co-owners may certainly offer their opinions as to what you should do with your ownership stake, they ultimately have no say over how you handle it.
This differs from joint tenancy, which allows you still share ownership, yet when you die, your interest in the property is dispersed amongst the surviving owners. In a comparison between the two types of ownership, the Los Angeles Times points out that joint tenancy ensures your ownership stake is immune from the costs associated with probate. At the same time, tenancy in common allows you to include your interest in your estate to benefit those close to you if you so choose.
More information on the types of co-ownership can be found here on our site.