A tenancy in partnership is a form of co-ownership in which all partners have an undivided interest in the property, but no rights to transfer their interests outside of the partnership.

A partnership is a legal arrangement that can be formed between two or more different parties. People form partnerships for a wide range of different reasons, from starting a business or creating a professional practice to owning or investing in real estate.

In world of real estate, partners may join together to own property. Business partners could collectively own dozens of different pieces of property in states all across the country, or they could even form a partnership to a single parcel of land.

When owning real property, it is imperative that partners have a clear and comprehensive understanding of their individual ownership rights. There are several different ways in which a partnership can own the title to property. One of these ways is known as a tenancy in partnership.

Defining Ownership Rights: What is a Tenancy in Partnership?

Before purchasing property, every real estate buyer will want to possess a clear understanding of their individual financial interests. Through partnerships and other joint ventures, there are several different ways that property ownership rights can be structured. With a tenancy in partnership, title to the property will be held in the name of the partnership or in the name of one of the partners on behalf of the partnership. This means that none of the individual partners have a specific stake in the underlying real estate. Instead, it is the partnership that owns the real estate.

In real estate, defining the terms of property ownership is not merely a technical distinction that is only of interest to professionals. Quite the contrary; there are important, entirely practical real-world implications. When property is held by a tenancy in partnership, each party’s interest in the property is equal to their interest in the partnership that owns the property. This is because the real estate asset is fundamentally the partnership’s asset. It is not an individual asset. As a consequence of this, an individual partner cannot transfer their interests in property that is held via a tenancy in partnership to someone outside of the partnership.

Real Estate Exam Study Tip: Know How Partners Can Title Property

Preparing for a real estate exam can be a deeply challenging, intimidating task. The good news is that there is a well-trodden path to passing. Before taking your test, it is recommended that you put some time and energy into learning the different types of ways in which business partners can own and title real property. As was mentioned, there are very important real world implications to these differences — especially when dealing with real estate investors or with commercial property. More pressingly, it is very likely that there will be specific questions about ownership rights on your real estate licensure exam. The more prepared you are to take on these questions, the better off you will be. Beyond tenancy in partnership, you should also learn the meaning and implications of the following terms:

  • Co-ownership;
  • Co-tenancy;
  • Concurrent ownership’
  • Community property;
  • Joint tenancy;
  • Statutory survivorship;
  • Tenancy by the entireties; and
  • Tenancy in common.

Remember, there are significant legal consequences and tax consequences that come along with any method of holding title to real property. Real estate professionals should be able to offer their clients guidance on how property ownership should be structured.   

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