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What Is Ownership Interest In A Property?

May 11, 2023 5-minute read

Author: Hanna Kielar


When you have an ownership interest in a property, you have a claim to the property in question. With multiple types of ownership interest creating different types of responsibilities, taking a minute to understand the different types of ownership is essential.

Let’s take a closer look below.

What Does Ownership Interest Mean?

In real estate, ownership interest in a property refers to the rights that one or multiple owners hold on the investment. In the case of multiple owners, the ownership interest is usually split based on the amount invested in the property.

When you have an ownership interest in a property, you’ll be allowed to use it within reason. For example, if you have an ownership interest in an investment property with other investors, you would be entitled to an appropriate share of the profits.

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The Types Of Ownership Interest In A Property

You will encounter several types of ownership interest in real property assets. We will explore property ownership types that can be found in both residential and commercial real estate.

Sole Ownership

Sole ownership is a straightforward arrangement in which one individual has all of the ownership interest in a property. You can pursue sole ownership if you are single or legally divorced. Plus, in some states, this is an option for a married individual who wants to acquire a property separately from their spouse.

The advantage of sole ownership is that no one else has any claim to the property. But a drawback is that your property may have to go through probate upon your passing.

Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy occurs when two or more people hold the title to a property. This form of ownership is common among married couples and relatives. With joint tenancy, each individual has an equal ownership interest in the property.

When multiple owners have equal shares, everything that has to do with the property must be decided unanimously. Whether you want to make improvements or sell the property, you’ll need to get all owners on board. With joint tenancy, a surviving co-owner will receive the remaining shares of the property without any probate process.

As the most common type of ownership interest, it creates a simple survivorship process.

Tenancy By Entirety

Tenancy by entirety (TBE) is an ownership option available to married couples. TBE allows both parties in a married couple to hold an equal ownership interest in the property. Both spouses will own 100% of the property through this avenue.

With TBE, the married couple is treated as one legal entity. Additionally, the rights of the surviving spouse will allow the property to remain in their control.

Tenancy In Common

Tenancy in common is very different from tenancy by entirety. With a tenancy in common arrangement, there can be two or more parties with ownership interest. However, the ownership interest can be in unequal amounts.

When a party holds an ownership interest through tenancy in common, their ownership interest will be transferred to their heirs. The other owners will have to work with the heirs from that point on.

Real Estate Trust

An owning trust allows a trustee to manage real estate assets for the trustor, or a collection of trustors. There are two types of trusts for real estate ownership: an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust.

In an irrevocable trust, the trustor can only make changes with the beneficiary’s permission. In a revocable trust, the trustee can make changes without the beneficiary’s express permission. Rocket Mortgage® will close a mortgage when a but cannot close loans for properties in irrevocable trusts.

Owning Partnership (LLC)

An owning partnership allows investors to claim an ownership interest in a property through a limited liability company (LLC). The purpose of this form of ownership is to provide protection for the investor’s assets.

Additionally, there are major tax benefits to consider. Specifically, the investor will take responsibility for the taxes on earned income through the LLC, but the LLC itself will not be taxed.

Your LLC can’t get a home loan through Rocket Mortgage.

Owning Corporation

A corporation can claim an ownership interest in a property through an “owning corporation.” The defining feature of this type of ownership interest is that the corporation can be liable for damages if someone sues the corporation.

Rocket Mortgage doesn’t offer loans to owning corporations at this time.

How Does Ownership Interest In A Property Work?

The ownership interests in a property amount to the owner’s real estate bundle of rights. Although a sole individual can claim all of these rights, properties with multiple owners have the option to designate certain rights to each owner.

As you pursue a form of ownership, keep these rights in mind:

  • Right of control: You have the right to use the property as you see fit, barring anything deemed illegal or in violation of policies set up by a governing body such as a city zoning law or homeowners association
  • Right of exclusion: You can control who is allowed to enter the property.
  • Right of possession: You are the legal owner of the property.
  • Right of enjoyment: You can enjoy the property to your own standards unless it violates local law.
  • Right of disposition: You can sell the property whenever you choose to.

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FAQs About Ownership Interest In Property

Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ownership interest in a property.

How can I show ownership interest in a property?

In order to prove your ownership interest in a property, you can refer to the property title which legally proves your ownership rights in regard to the purchased property. This is the legal proof you’ll need in order to use the property how you intend to use it.

Can you transfer ownership interest in a property?

If you have an ownership interest in a property, you can transfer that interest to someone else. Typically, you can use a quitclaim deed to make a smooth transfer of ownership interest.

However, the local laws regarding title transfer will vary based on your state. With that, consulting a real estate attorney or title company can be an efficient way to complete the process and define ownership.

Can I have ownership interest in a property more than once?

For mortgage programs and certain benefits, previous ownership interest matters most if you’re trying to qualify for a first-time home buyer mortgage. To be defined as a first-time home buyer by a mortgage lender, you cannot have owned property in the last 3 years.

What are the 7 most common types of property ownership?

You will encounter several types of ownership interest in real property assets. The following property ownership types below can be found in both residential and commercial real estate. For a more detailed description of each ownership type, revisit the sections above.

  • Sole ownership
  • Joint tenancy
  • Tenancy by entirety (TBE)
  • Tenancy in common
  • Owning trust
  • LLC partnership
  • Owning corporation

Can I sell my property with a tenancy in common ownership agreement?

It’s possible to sell a property wtih multiple owners in a tenancy in common agreement and in some instances, you may be able to sell your individual share of the property while other owners retain their ownership interest. However, since most lenders and most prospective buyers are only interested in buying the entire property, it’s easier to sell if everyone wants to sell their shares at the same time.  

The Bottom Line

Ownership interest in a property refers to the rights that one or multiple owners hold on the investment. If there are multiple owners in this agreement, the ownership interest is usually split based on the amount invested in the property.

Whether it’s residential or commercial real estate, there are several types of ownership interest in real property assets that all have different rights.

If you’re ready to purchase property and become a homeowner, get started on the mortgage process today.

Hanna Kielar Headshot

Hanna Kielar

Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto, RocketHQ, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.