If two or more persons who are not married or domestic partners, acquire title to real property, and the title deed does not specify the type of ownership, they become tenants in common. If, for example, a number of relatives inherit a joint interest in property, they are tenants in common. Tenancy in common is a residual category; land is held this way only if the estate does not fit within any other category.
Unlike joint tenants, the interests of tenants in common need not be equal and there is no right of survivorship. If a person dies, who held property as a tenant in common, his or her interest passes to his or her heirs. A married couple, or domestic partners, may acquire property as tenants in common, but, in order to do so, the title deed must expressly state this intention.