When you purchase property or land, there are several different ways of taking ownership of that property. These forms of ownership depend on how many individuals are involved in the purchase and on their relationship to each other. The laws concerning real estate in Utah define the following types of property ownership.
When one person purchases a piece of property by him or herself, he/she holds that property as the sole owner. No one else has the right to claim ownership of that real estate in Utah.
If two or more people wish to divide a piece of property equally among them, then they will need to hold the land in joint tenancy. Each tenant has both the right to actually own the entire property and the right to own a proportionate interest in the property. What this really means is that if one of the owners dies, his or her portion of the property is automatically split between equally between the other surviving owners. If there is only one owner left, he or she has the right to own the entire property.
This type of ownership is a type of join tenancy available to married couples. In this case, each spouse owns 50 percent of the property. In order to sell the property, both must consent to the sell. In this case, the deed to the property will explicitly state that the two individuals are married and will hold the property in tenancy in the entirety.
Holding a property as tenants in common is also similar to joint tenancy. The major different here is that the individuals who hold ownership in the property do not have to hold equal shares of the property. Also, when one of the owners dies, his or her share of the property does not automatically go to the other owners; instead, it may be passed to his/her heirs, who then become the new tenant in common along with the other surviving owners.
Community property combines the rules for tenancy in the entirety and tenancy in common. A husband and wife each own one-half of the property, and neither may sell the property without consent of the other. However, when one of the individuals dies, that individual may pass his or her half of the property to an heir as outlined in his/her will.