Anyone who is interested in sharing ownership of Rhode Island real estate will discover that there are various ways for multiple parties to share a piece of real estate, each of them with benefits and disadvantages to the parties, depending on the situation. The most common types of shared property ownership in Rhode island are joint tenancy and tenancy-in-common.
The most common form of joint possession of real property in Rhode Island is called a tenancy-in-common. Under state law, any property that is sold, given, or otherwise conveyed to two or more persons is presumed to be a tenancy-in-common, unless the conveyance expressly states otherwise. Under tenancy-in-common, two or more tenants each own a partial share of the entire property, although they each have the right of possession and use of the entire property. Tenants in common do not need to hold equal shares of a property, and their individual shares can be transferred or sold to another party without the consent of the other owners. If a tenant in common dies while in possession of the property, her portion of the property will go to her heirs.
The second most common form of joint possession of real property in Rhode Island is joint tenancy. Joint tenancy is the primary form of joint property ownership for married couples, although any group of two or more persons may elect to hold property as joint tenants if they desire and the other requirements for a joint tenancy are met. Joint tenancy is similar to a tenancy-in-common, however, there are a few key differences.