How to Change From Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to Change From Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common
A Tenants in Common change may also affect your will. (house image by kruszek from

The terms "Joint Tenants" and "Tenants in Common" are used when more than one person has ownership in a piece of property. With Joint Tenants, all owners have equal shares of the property but cannot sell it or deed it to someone, else even when they die. With Tenants in Common, each owner can own different percentages of the property and can sell their percentage while living or deed it to someone else when they die.

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  1. 1

    Hire a title company to assist with the process of modifying the deed. This is not required, but it is a very good idea when you are dealing with multiple owners because the title company will present unbiased legal opinion to all involved parties.

  2. 2

    Work with the title company to write up a new title document that is called a deed transfer. The document must state that each owner is reverting "interest in the home" to themselves, which changes ownership to Tenants in Common. In addition, the document must list each owner's name and the percentage of the property that he owns.

  3. 3

    Sign the new deed and have all of the other owners sign the deed as well. The signing must be done in the presence of a notary public who will notarise the document and make it official. The title company will typically have a notary on staff.

  4. 4

    Make copies of the signed deed and provide one copy to each of the owners.

  5. 5

    File the deed with the recorder of deeds at the courthouse in the county where the property is located. There is usually a deed transfer fee that must pay which varies by county.

Tips and warnings

  • If any new owners are added to the deed, they may be required to pay a deed transfer tax since they now own property. Check with the local deed recorder for the tax rate if this applies to your situation.

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