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Types of Tenancy in New Hampshire

When multiple people are involved in a single property purchase in New Hampshire, the types of tenancy recognized by state laws dictate who holds the title to the property and to what portion of the property each individual actually owns. Tenancy refers to the possession or occupancy of the lands, buildings or property either by a title, under a lease or for the payment of rent. There are two commonly referred to types of tenancy in New Hampshire, they are:

  • Tenancy in Common
  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

Tenancy in Common is the term used to refer to two or more people who purchase a home and essentially own separate and very distinct shares of the property. The amount of property owned by each individual may differ in size based on the amount of down payment provided by each tenant to purchase the property. This is the most common type of tenancy used for the purchase of a home by owners who are cohabitating or unmarried.

Tenancy in common ownership does not provide a right to survivorship which means that if either of the owners dies, the property does not automatically get willed to the other owner. The property is actually passed on to the heirs of the deceased owner and the second owner has no say over this matter.

A safer choice when it comes to the death of one of the property owners, is the Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship tenancy in which the interest of a co-owned property passes on to the remaining owners in the event of an owner death. In this type of tenancy, if an owner dies, his or her interest in the property essentially dies with them and the property interest is given to the remaining owners essentially saving the property from the perils of probate.

Joint tenancy with right of survivorship tenancy is common for the ownership of a home between a married couple, a parent and child or a similar situation in which both parties want for the interest of the property to stay with the immediate owners in the event of a death.

Some states, such as Massachusetts, recognize a third type of tenancy known as tenancy by entirety. Under New Hampshire law, there is no tenancy by entirety. Instead, all real estate sales that are made to two or more people are construed to create what is known as a tenancy in common unless otherwise expressed on the deed of the property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. What this means is that tenancy in common is the most common type of tenancy for properties purchased with the interest of more than one owner in the state of New Hampshire. Tenancy by entirety, is the same as a joint tenancy in the state of New Hampshire.

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