In real estate, several types of ownership determine how a property is held and who has legal rights to it. Here are some common types of property ownership:


Sole Ownership (Sole Tenancy): Sole ownership occurs when a single individual or entity owns the entire property. The owner has the right to use, modify, and sell the property as they see fit.

Joint Tenancy: Joint tenancy is a form of ownership where two or more individuals share equal ownership interests in a property. If one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without going through probate.

Tenancy in Common: Tenancy in common is a type of ownership where two or more individuals jointly own a property, but their shares in the property may not be equal. Each owner can sell, mortgage, or transfer their share without the consent of other owners. In the event of an owner's death, their share is passed to their heirs through their will.


Tenancy by the Entirety: This type of ownership is reserved for married couples and operates similarly to joint tenancy. However, neither spouse can sell or mortgage the property without the other's consent. In the event of a divorce, the tenancy by the entirety is typically converted into a tenancy in common.


Community Property: Community property states consider all property acquired during a marriage as equally owned by both spouses, regardless of which spouse acquired it. In the event of a divorce or death, community property is usually divided equally between the spouses.


Condominium Ownership: Condominium ownership allows individuals to own a specific unit within a larger building or complex. Condo owners have ownership rights to their individual units and shared ownership of common areas such as lobbies, elevators, and swimming pools.


Cooperative Ownership: In a housing cooperative, residents own shares in a corporation that owns the entire property. Each resident is a shareholder and has the right to occupy a specific unit. The cooperative association manages the property.


Trust Ownership: Property ownership can be held in a trust, where a trustee manages the property for the benefit of another person or entity, known as the beneficiary. Trust ownership provides various estate planning benefits.


Leasehold Ownership: Leasehold ownership occurs when a person or entity holds a lease to use a property for a specific period, often long-term, but does not own the land. At the end of the lease term, the ownership reverts to the landowner, unless a renewal is negotiated.


Each type of ownership has its own legal implications and considerations, and the choice of ownership depends on factors such as legal, financial, and estate planning objectives. It's essential to consult with legal and real estate professionals to determine the most suitable type of ownership for specific circumstances.


Understanding Property Rights in Canada: A Guide for Homeowners