Ownership of land by two or more persons is called a co-tenancy. There are two basic kinds of co-tenancies. One is a tenancy in common. A tenancy in common consists of two or more tenants in common. Unless the deed vesting title in the tenants in common provides otherwise, each tenant in common will own a fractional share of the land. If there are two tenants in common, each will own a fractional one-half interest. If there are three, each will own a fractional one-third interest, and so on. A tenant in common can transfer his or her interest to other parties. At the death of a tenant in common, the fractional interest will pass to his heirs or as directed by a will.
The second basic kind of co-tenancy is called a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Each tenant of a joint tenancy will own a fractional share of the land, like a tenant in common. The main difference between the two co-tenancies is that a joint tenant usually cannot freely transfer his fractional interest and, at the death of a joint tenant, the fractional interest will not pass to his heirs but will pass instead to the remaining joint tenants.