Requires Only One Unity A tenancy in common must only have unity of possession (i., each tenant is entitled to possess the whole property). Unities of interest, title, and time are not needed. Therefore, tenants in common can obtain unequal interests by different deeds at different times.
A statutory or common law presumption favoring tenancies in common over joint tenancies exists in most states.
Heirs taking an estate are classified as tenants in common.
C. Tenancy by the Entirety A concurrent ownership which can only he created in a husband and wife who are legally married. This tenancy is recognized in less than half of the states.
The four unities (time, title, interest, and possession) are required just as they are for joint tenancies.
Presumption In most states that recognize this tenancy, there is a presumption that a property grant to a husband and wife is intended to establish a tenancy by the entirety.
Note: A man or a woman cannot transfer a partial interest to his/her spouse and create a tenancy by the entirety because unities of time and interest are absent.
Right of Survivorship The surviving spouse has a right of survivorship (just as the surviving joint tenant).
Not Subject to Severance Neither spouse can terminate the tenancy and thereby defeat the other’s right of survivorship by unilateral action (e., by inter vivos transfer or judicial partition).
Termination results when:
there is a mutual agreement to terminate.
one spouse dies.
judgment is executed against husband and wife by a joint creditor of both.
there is a divorce (which leaves the parties as tenants in common).