RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF COTENANTS (Applicable To The Three Main Types Of Cotenancies)
Right of Possession Each cotenant has the right to possess the entire property (i., unity of possession). No cotenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises.
Possession by One Cotenant Because there is unity of possession, the cotenant in sole possession does not ordinarily have a duty to account (i., to pay the other cotenant one-half the rental value of the property).
Duty to Account If an Ouster Occurs If the cotenant in sole possession wrongfully excludes his cotenants from the property, an ouster occurs. The tenant in possession must pay the ousted cotenant his share of the rental value of the property.
Duty to Account If the Tenant in Sole Possession Depletes the Land If the cotenant lessens the value of the land by taking away and selling resources such as coal, timber, etc., he will have to account to his cotenant for the fair share of the revenues he received.
Duty to Account for Lease to a Third Party If one cotenant makes use of the property for his own benefit, he is not required to account for the reasonable rental value. However, if the cotenant rents the property to a third party, he must pay his cotenants their fair share of the rents collected.
Contribution A cotenant may wish to receive contributions from the other cotenants for certain payments he has made to benefit the