Benchmark Title Company, LLC

 Welcome to the Benchmark Title Company's Title Tip of the Week Newsletter. This week we discuss some of the ways that your residential clients can take title to land, and what potential effect the different types of tenancies can have.

Types of Tenancies
by Sarah Holdener, Esq.
There are innumerable ways in which the title, or ownership of real estate may be held. A brief overview of three very common types of ownership and certain characteristics of each of these types are set forth below:

  • Tenancy by the Entireties - This manner of holding title is only possible between a husband and wife and is extinguished upon a divorce, after which the parties hold title as Tenants in Common. Tenancy by the Entireties includes a right of survivorship, such that upon the death of one spouse, the survivor then is the sole owner of the property. During ownership, neither spouse may sell or mortgage their interest acting alone. Judgment or liens against only one spouse do not attach to the property held as Tenants by the Entireties.
  • Joint Tenancy - This form of ownership requires two or more persons, who need not be related to one another. Joint tenancy includes a right of survivorship, such that upon the death of any joint tenant, the survivors succeed to the interest of the deceased. This type of tenancy differs from Tenancy by the Entireties in that any owner may sell or mortgage his or her respective interest or share, but this may extinguish the Joint Tenancy thereby creating a Tenancy in Common as to that interest. Judgments and liens attach to the respective owner’s share. This is a popular choice for related, but not married, persons who wish to provide a right of survivorship among themselves.
  • Tenancy in Common - This is simply ownership of property by two or more owners, each with a fractional interest in the whole. There is no right of survivorship. Upon an owner’s death, his or her interest passes to the heirs and/or devisees of that owner. Each owner may sell or mortgage his or her share without the joinder of the remaining owners. Judgments and liens attach to the respective owner’s share. This form is generally the “default” tenancy when other types of tenancies are destroyed or if no form of tenancy is specified in the conveyancing document.
  • Note - Trusts, Partnerships, Life Estates, Corporations, Beneficiary Deeds, etc. have not been discussed. The foregoing is intended to generally address only the most frequently used types of tenancies among individuals purchasing residential property, and should not be
    considered complete. You should recommend your clients consult an attorney for any advice regarding ways of holding title and its specific effects for them.


Any questions can be directed to Benchmark Title at 618-239-3750. Please feel free to call or email:

John Howe

Doreen Miller, Esq.
Commercial Division Manager

Sarah Holdener, Esq.
General Counsel,
VP Production

Michelle Null
VP Escrow Operations

Serving you from three convenient locations:

Main Office:
1124 Hartman Lane
Shiloh, IL 62221
Ph: 618-239-3750
Escrow Fax: 618-239-3707
Title Fax: 618-239-3757
Fax Orders: 618-310-1589
John Howe

318 North Main St.
Columbia, IL 62236
Ph: 618-281-9700
Fax: 618-281-9705

Manager: Randi Schur

4215 S. State Rte 159
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Ph: 618-288-1695
Fax: 618-288-1852
Manager: Sara Sowell

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