Taking Title of Land in Ontario
When a person acquires ownership in property in Ontario, they take title to that property by means of a Deed or Transfer of the land.
There are two manners in which title can be acquired in Ontario. These are known as either joint tenancy or tenancy in common.
When two people acquire title by means of joint tenancy in a property, they are acquiring an undivided interest in the land. From a practical point of view, this means that both parties maintain a full interest in the property and neither party can sell, mortgage or otherwise encumber their share of the property. Furthermore, the interest that each party maintains is equal to one half the interest in that property regardless of relative contributions towards the purchase or acquisition of that property. Furthermore, if one of the parties should die, the full interest in that property automatically passes to the other joint tenant.
Tenancy in Common
In a tenancy in common, the parties maintain an interest in the property which is divisible from that of the other party. Theoretically, a tenant in common can sell, mortgage or gift their interest in that property independently of the other co-owner. Furthermore, a tenancy in common need not be a 50/50 split between the parties. A tenancy in common can be designated to equal any proportion that the parties would like to determine. For example, a tenancy in common can be designated so that one party owns 75% of the property and the other party 25%.
Most married couples elect for the joint tenancy as it provides for the automatic right of survivorship and does not require any further transfer of the property by means of Will or Letters of Administration upon the death of one of the parties.