Maryland Title Fact Sheet
In Maryland, there are several ways you can have an ownership interest to real property with another person.
MARYLAND TITLE FACT SHEET
In Maryland, there are several ways you can have an ownership interest to real property with another person. Individuals or entities “hold title” (have an ownership interest) to real property in one of the three following ways:
1. Tenants in Common
If you hold title by tenants in common, each owner has an ownership interest in the property. As tenants in common, owners hold their respective share of the property as individuals, can convey or transfer their interest in the property, and can hold unequal shares of the property. A distinguishing characteristic of tenants in common is that there is no right of survivorship. This means that if one tenant passes away, their interest in the property does not automatically go to the other owners but instead transfers onto a person (or people) of their choice. Maryland presumes that owners hold title to a property as tenants in common unless otherwise specified. Unless otherwise instructed, Anderson Law & Title will presume that non-married owners wish to hold title to a property as tenants in common.
2. Tenants by the Entirety
A married couple may own property as tenants by the entirety. As tenants by the entirety, the couple owns the property together as a whole and cannot individually convey or transfer their interest in the property (in contrast to tenants in common). Tenants by the entirety hold title with rights of survivorship, meaning that when one spouse dies, the other spouse becomes the sole owner of the property. An advantage of owing a property as tenants by the entirety is that, except for limited exceptions, creditors of one spouse cannot place a lien on the property based on the debts of the other spouse. If a married couple divorces, any ownership they held as tenants by the entirety becomes held as tenants in common. Unless otherwise instructed, Anderson Law & Title will presume that married owners wish to hold title to a property as tenants by the entirety.
3. Joint Tenancy
Holding title as joint tenants is a way for non-married owners to hold title to a property with a right of survivorship. For owners of a property to hold title as joint tenants, a deed must expressly state that the owners wish to hold title to a property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the interest of all owners must vest at the same time and from the same deed, and all owners must have equal rights and interest in the property.
This document is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice, and does not provide a complete explanation of issues related to ownership of property or how owners should hold title to property. Decisions about how property should be titled should be made on a case by case basis. If you would like to speak to an attorney, please contact Jodi Anderson, Esq. at Jodi@Andersonlawtitle.com.