Under Florida, two individuals can be co-owners of a real estate property if they are not married or related in any way. In this article, you will understand what joint tenancy is and whether Florida law recognizes this form of ownership.
Does Florida Recognize Joint Tenancy? – The Essentials
Florida law recognizes joint tenancy as a legal form of ownership within state jurisdiction. In joint tenancy, two or more individuals have co-ownership of a property with equal rights and obligations.
Not only married couples and relatives rely on this form of property ownership. In many cases, close friends and business partners may also own property in Florida as joint tenants.
When two or more people own property under joint tenancy, they create what is known as a “right of survivorship.” If one of the co-owners dies, the remaining interest in the property is passed directly to the surviving co-owners.
As the decedent’s interest in the property is automatically transferred to the surviving party, there is no need for probate or other similar court proceedings. Since each joint tenant is equally responsible for the property, they share the benefits and liabilities associated with it.
For example, if two joint tenants decide to rent out an apartment they own together to an individual, each one is entitled to 50% of the rent amount. If they sell the property, each joint tenant is entitled to 50% of the sales proceeds.
Similarly, each joint tenant is responsible for payments associated with mortgage debt, property taxes, and maintenance costs. If one of the joint tenants fails to fill his or her obligations, the other joint tenants must assume the responsibility.
Florida Joint Tenancy – Taking a Closer Look
When a property is inherited through a will or in intestacy court, heirs may experience a lengthy and stressful process until they receive their part of the decedent’s assets. Joint tenancy provides a valuable legal tool that permits co-owners to avoid probate and intestacy.
Joint tenancy also ensures how the co-owner’s interest must be distributed if that person did not name specific beneficiaries or did not have a will in place.
Property owners interested in ensuring a particular person will automatically receive his or her interest share upon death should consider naming that person as a joint tenant in the property.
No form of property ownership is perfect. Despite the advantages, joint tenancy may be problematic due to each tenant’s joint responsibilities. If one of the co-owners has unpaid debts, it may result in a lien against their interest in the jointly owned property.
Under joint tenancy, all co-owners are responsible for the property’s liabilities. It is not unusual to find situations in which one joint tenant took a mortgage loan on a property and created a debt for other joint tenants.
Divorce is also a complicated situation for joint tenancy. If the property is held by the couple but they decide to divorce, all debts are owned by both parties, and they cannot sell their interest in the property without the other partner’s consent.
If one of the joint tenants in a Florida property wants to pass his or her interest to a beneficiary that is not part of the joint tenancy, it may also create problems. In this form of ownership, only joint tenants have rights of survivorship, automatically excluding individuals who are not part of the arrangement.