Brief Fact Summary. In a tenancy in common, one co-tenant makes a lease with a third party, unknown to and against the wishes of the co-tenant.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In a tenancy in common, a cotenant may lease his interest in the common property to a third party without the consent of the other tenants.
Issue. In a tenancy in common, can one co-tenant enter into a lease with respect to his own undivided one-half interest in the property without the consent of the other co-tenant?
Each tenant in common of real property may use, benefit, and possess the whole property, subject only to the equal rights of the co-tenants. A co-tenant may lease his own interest in the common property to a third party without the consent of the other tenant, even if the co-tenant does not join in the lease. The nonjoining cotenant is not bound by the lease. The third party becomes a tenant in common with the other co-tenant for the duration of the lease. The nonjoining tenant may not demand exclusive possession against the lessee; he may only demand co-possession.
Here, Plaintiff may not eject Defendant from the property because the lease is valid. Partition is the proper remedy.
Discussion. Co-owners of real property have the right to lease the land without the knowledge or consent of the other co-owners. When co-owners cannot agree on the use of the property, the court may order a partition, which is a division of the land.