Types of Property Ownership
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
As there is a growing trend of acquiring properties, either alone, with family members, friends or partners (not your spouse), it is often overlooked in understanding the types of property ownership as it determines how these properties are titled and how it will affect your financial situation, especially when the day you passes on.
Briefly, here are 3 main types of ownership:
An individual whom fully owns and has complete interest in the property. This is commonly held by single men or women, and the biggest appeal is the ease with which the management and transactions can be done without the need to consult other party aside from the owner.
Ownership transfer from one person to another person is done through official transfer documents. If the sole owner passes on, his interest can be passed down through his Will, given specific instruction, or by the Singapore's rules of Intestate Succession Act when there is no Will done.
Joint Tenancy (JT)
JT occurs when two of more people jointly share in a property with equal and undivided interest. JT is not limited to only spouse - anyone can share interest in a property. Under a JT, each joint tenant has the rights of a single owner and is equally entitled to the property.
When one of the partners passes on, his interest in the property automatically transfers to the surviving tenant(s). This is regardless of how much he had paid for the property.
As such, a joint property cannot be passed through a trust or a Will. The responsibility of the property is shared between all the tenants. Likewise, any decision making with regards to the property must be approved by all parties.
Tenancy in Common (TIC)
When two or more persons jointly owns a property, however, the split can be in different percentage among the tenants. TIC is mostly used by people who are making a joint investment in a property, or sometimes by couples who will not, or cannot be married.
All parties hold title individually for their respective portion of the property. A tenant can choose to sell his share in the property without seeking permission from the other tenants.
Upon the death of one owner, his share does not automatically goes to the other surviving owners. Instead, similar to a sole ownership, his interest in the property can be distributed accordingly in his Will or goes under the Singapore's rules of Intestate Succession Act when there is no Will.
Each type of title method has its pros and cons, depending on an individual's particular situation and how one wants his ownership to pass in events such as death, divorce, sale or an exit strategy.
Before you enter into an agreement for a property, it is important to be fully informed about the legal, tax, and practical implications of the types of property ownership you are considering. Do read up more to understand the terms & conditions.