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Co-Tenants in Real Estate, Ownership Interests

All sorts of legal problems can arise from the co-ownership of real estate. This can include, without limitation, partition suits which force a liquidation of the real estate or divide it into separate parcels of appropriate economic value, as well as general disputes about how the property should be used and operated. 

Co-ownership of real estate is typically either as a joint tenant-in-common or as a joint tenant with right of survivorship. Tenancy by the entirety is a separate form of ownership that exists when the owners are married. With co-tenancies, there is sometimes uncertainty about the specific ownership interests of the owners. Unless otherwise specified in a deed, it is presumed that co-tenants possess equal ownership shares in real estate. Hoit v. Rankin, 320 S.W.3d 761, 772 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010). The presumption, however, may be rebutted by evidence that the co-tenants contributed unequally toward the purchase price of the property. Id.

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