Owning a property is a legal matter. By saying this we mean- when you own a property, it does not simply mean that you have the right to use that property, it means many more legalities. Besides usage, you are also entitled to other rights of owning that property.
However before understanding your rights you should understand kinds of co-ownership. In most of the cases, siblings buy a house to live together but they are not aware about the kind of ownership they are assuming over their property. This lands them in legal problems later on when they want to separate or one of them wants to sell the property or if one of them dies.
Knowing the kinds of co-ownerships followed in India can help you in the long run to not just practice your rights but will help you secure the interest of your heirs too, legally.
Co-ownership can also be called as joint ownership. It can be classified into 4 types-
Tenants in common:
This kind of ownership is generally followed by siblings who buy a property together. Together here refers to agreeing to all the clauses defined in the document together and signing a common deed. Share of each owner is not defined as all of them have equal rights. Two or more i.e. all the co-owners of the property can use the entire property equally. There is no discrimination among them in terms of rights of usage.
In case of death of a co-owner, the rights over the property are transferred in the name of the person whose name is written as inheritor in the will of the demised.
This is second kind of co-ownership that involves two or more number of co-owners. The rights over the property are equally divided among all the co-owners. To have the similar rights, each co-owner should have equal interest in the property. Each one should take the possession of the property along with and in the presence of other co-owners and by signing the same deed.
In case of death of one of co-owners, his/her rights over the property are transferred to other surviving co-owners, equally or as defined in the deed.
Tenancy by entirety:
This term defines the co-ownership that only a legally married couple can have. Each spouse has equal rights over the property however, neither of them can sell the property without the consent of the other. They both should agree to sell the property together. Their tenancy by entirety can come to an end only if they decide to go apart, as in case of divorce and it will be then converted into tenancy-in-common.
In case of the death of one of the partners, the rights automatically pass on to the surviving partner.
This kind of co-ownership is practiced by Hindu Undivided Family. Coparceners refer to members in the group of eldest male member of the family and his three generations. It is their ancestral property that each of them practices rights over. Each coparcener becomes a co-owner and enjoys rights in the ancestral property right from the time of birth; the gender does not make any difference.
In case of death of one of the coparceners, his share is transferred in the name of his/her heirs.