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Types of Tenancy in Connecticut

By Colleen Colkitt

With several types of tenancy in Connecticut, tenants need to know their options. Make sure you get the right lease for you, and review some of these choices so you can know what rights you may have!

Tenancy In Common (TIC)

Tenancy in common, or TIC, is a very popular from of concurrent property ownership because both tenants own an equal amount of the property. Both parties have an equal right to possess the entire property, and this can apply to many types of properties including houses, apartments, or any type of real estate. Since they have an equal stake or claim in the property, the house or apartment is usually "undivided." This means that the house is not an equal split down the middle as to what belongs to which tenant, but rather they each have complete co-ownership. Sometimes, with an apartment complex or a duplex, co-tenants will agree to each own or be in charge of separate rooms or portions of the property.

The co-tenants must pay rent or maintenance cost according to their own interest in the ownership.

Joint Tenancy

This is a common type of tenancy with married couples and also family members. With a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, complete property ownership is transferred to the other party when one of the individuals in the joint tenancy dies. The deceased person's interest in the property is automatically transferred to the other joint tenant.

A real estate agent or lawyer must use specific phrasing in the deed or will in order to ensure a joint tenancy is guaranteed. To avoid the confusion of a tenancy in common, a lawyer or real estate agent must specify the wish to have the right to survivorship.

In order to maintain the joint tenancy, four requirements need to be met. These requirements involve time, title, interest, and possession for all joint tenants.

Partition

Co-tenants can legally ask a court to "partition" their property. This involves a joint tenant asking a court to divide the property into clear and separately-owned sections. This partition or divided portion might be sold and the proceeds of the sale can be distributed to the co-tenants.

Tenancy By The Entirety

Another form of concurrent ownership is tenancy by the entirety. This is only available to married couples whom own a piece of property together. They do not have to own equal portions, but rather distinct shares. In order to meet requirements, the couple must be married by the time they get the property and they have to stay married in order for this type of tenancy to be valid. If a couple gets divorced, they become tenants in common.

If a co-tenant or spouse dies, the property ownership is transferred to the remaining living spousal tenant.

Tenant-At-Will

A tenant at will is a property that's occupied by a tenant, but owned by a different individual. It's important to note that these types of tenant agreements do not have a formal lease between the owner of the property and tenant, which means there is no documentation of payment plan or duration of the tenant's stay.

Without a written, binding agreement, the tenant can legally be terminated at any given time by the owner or landlord. Conversely, the tenant can also leave without any financial obligation at any time as well because there is no contract binding them to the property.

This tenant-at-will living arrangement is most successful when between trusted parties. For example, a tenant with a close relationship with the landlord or current property owner might have a better time with this type of agreement. Or perhaps a tenant going out of town might need someone to occupy and pay rent on their place while they're gone is a good situation for tenant-at-will.

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