Co-tenancy is a concept in property law, particularly derived from the common law of real property, which describes the various ways in which property can be owned by more than one person at a given time. If more than one person own the same property, they are referred to as co-owners, co-tenants or joint tenants.
The type of ownership determines the rights of the parties to sell their interest in the property to others, to will the property to their devisees, or to sever their joint ownership of the property. Just as each of these affords a different set of rights and responsibilities to the co-owners of property, each requires a different set of conditions in order to exist. In general, a co-tenancy allows that:
1. Each owner has an unrestricted right of access to the property.
2. Each owner has a right to an accounting of profits made from the property. If the property generates income (such as rent) or a tax credit (such as depreciation), each owner is entitled to a pro-rata share of that income.