How to sever tenants in common

Written by sherrie coronas | 13/05/2017
How to sever tenants in common
A compound lease can be severed. (Getty Thinkstock)

Tenancy in common is a form of ownership which allows a property to be vested (or held) by two or more people. A tenant in common has the right to sell, convey or transfer his interest in a co-owned property without consent of the other co-owner(s). Thus, one of the following actions must be taken to sever (terminate) the tenants in common co-ownership.

Sell the co-owned property and split the profits according to the percentage of ownership. For this option to be viable, all parties must agree to selling the property.

Buy out the interest of all other co-owners of the property. The tenancy in common will end when a single cotenant acquires the title, thereby merging the entire interest in one person.

How to sever tenants in common
The co-ownership may be severed by a partition action. (Justice image by MVit from

File for a partition of the property to dissolve the relationship. This is a legal action that must be done in court. If the court is unable to divide the property among owners, it will call for the real estate to be sold. The proceeds of the sale will be divided among the co-owners according to the percentage of ownership.


  • It should be noted that tenant in common ownership will be severed by the death of a cotenant.

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.