A Few Points About Joint Tenancy in Ontario

If two people acquire property as joint tenants, they must hold it 50/50. If there are three, then each must hold one-third.

If it were to be 90/10, that’s fine, but that’s not joint tenancy, that’s tenancy in common.

The interest is an undivided interest in the whole property. There’s no upstairs, downstairs, east or west etc.

If one person dies, the survivor automatically inherits their share. That’s the key to this whole concept. It’s a “poor man’s Will”.

If someone purports to sell or mortgage their own interest, then, that severs the joint tenancy. There are other factors which could sever a joint tenancy.

People can have different contributions to a down payment, joint tenancy is still joint tenancy.

There are issues related to the “principle of advancement” and “resulting trust” and the effect on joint tenancy. Sometimes that would affect joint tenancy and sometimes not.

The principle of resulting trust applies when no consideration is advanced by a family member who is a mature adult. They are deemed to have received the joint tenancy title “in trust” for the person who granted it to them.

The principle of advancement applies with respect to a child under the age of 18 or someone suffering from a disability, either physical or mental.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


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