There are three different ways to co-own real property in the state of Michigan. A person can own property with another person as joint tenants, tenants in common or as tenants by entireties. Unless otherwise specified, when land is sold or given to multiple parties it is considered a tenancy in common.
A tenancy in common allows two or more people to own a piece of property with each owning a proportion of the property. For instance, if four people purchase a piece of land as tenants in common, each will own 25 percent of the land. This differs from a joint tenancy and a tenancy by entireties where all owners have 100 percent ownership of the land.
Any tenant in common in Michigan can sell his portion of ownership of the land without changing the ownership structure of the land. If a joint tenant sells his portion of the land, the joint tenancy is destroyed and turned into a tenancy in common. A tenancy by entireties only applies to marital property and cannot be sold without the consent of the other party.
Right of Survivorship
There is no right of survivorship with a tenancy in common. Therefore, the ownership share of property will pass can pass by will or through intestacy. Joint tenants and tenants by the entireties have a right of survivorship, which means that upon the death of one of the tenants, his ownership passes equally to the remaining living owner or owners.