The law provides for a lot of concepts which make business transactions and contractual arrangements easier to manage and implement. In cases of real estate co-ownership, the law provides for two different setups that allow two individuals to own a single property. These two types of real estate co-ownership are called joint tenancy and tenancy in common.
The concept of joint tenancy provides that tenants are co-owners of inchoate portions of a particular undivided property, depending on the number of tenants in question. This means that no particular tenant owns a delineated portion of the property since all tenants own the property in common. Joint tenancy also provides for the survivorship principle, which dictates that co-owners who survive their contemporaries will have acquired ownership of the deceased person’s portion.
Tenancy in Common
On the other hand, tenancy in common contemplates a setup wherein the tenants herein own specific portions of an undivided property. Upon the death of the tenants, the rights to their portions pass on to their heirs and beneficiaries, as the case may be.
Application under Philippine law
Philippine laws on co-ownership and succession vary greatly compared to their common law counterparts. According to the New Civil Code of the Philippines, co-owners may not be compelled to stay in a co-ownership beyond a period of 10 years unless partition of the property would render it unserviceable. In such cases, the property in question is to be sold, with the proceeds to be divided among the co-owners.
Joint tenancy, as such, may only apply in cases where the co-ownership was instituted by a contract between the parties with a “survivorship principle” stipulation, or from the act of disposition through a will with a stipulated “survivorship principle” clause wherein the heirs are bequeathed with a single property.