Types of Property Ownership in India

by  Adv. Umapathi Natarajan  




4 mins


property ownership meaning

A property can be broadly owned in two ways:

  1. One can be the sole owner of a property
  2. One can own the property jointly with another person

When the property is in the name of a single individual, he is the sole owner of the property whereas when a property is jointly owned by two or more persons, they are termed as the joint owner of the property. Joint property ownership can be of many types. Property ownership means having absolute rights to the property. 

Individual ownership/ sole Property ownership

A person holds property ownership when the property is bought and registered in the name of only one individual. This kind of property ownership is termed sole property ownership or individual property ownership. It is to be noted that the sole reason that any person has helped the owner of the property to secure funds to purchase the property does not give him any right in the property if the sale deed is registered in the name of the registered buyer. Property ownership means having the right to hold the property solely. The power of attorney for property is selected by the individual himself.

For example, suppose a husband takes help from his wife while arranging a loan for the property. He makes his wife a co-applicant in the loan application. But the property will be registered in the name of the husband only and will be individually held by him. The wife will only have a right of inheritance in the property which is governed by different laws of the country as the property is solely owned by her husband. 

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Benefits of sole property Ownership

There are various advantages of being the sole owner of the property. The sole owner has the absolute legal right to decide if he wants to sell the property or not. For example, if the husband wants to sell his property, he is not legally bound to inform his wife. He can take a single-handed decision. However, the wife can claim her share in the sale proceeds. It does not matter if she consented to sell the property or not. There is no legal binding upon the husband. Property ownership means having the right to enjoy the property without any restrictions. 

The law recognizes that the sole owner need not take any permission from any party in case of selling the property. It is easier to divide property when there is only one owner. If the sole owner dies and he has made the will, the property will be transferred by the will. But where there is no will, specific inheritance laws would be applied, and the ownership will be transferred accordingly. 

Joint property ownership

An immovable asset is deemed to be under joint property ownership when the property is registered in the name of two or more individuals. They are known as the joint owners or co-owners of the immovable property. There is hardly any difference between joint owners and co-owners of the immovable property and both terms are treated as synonymous. Property ownership means having complete rights over the property. In case of Joint property ownership, Power of attorney for property is decided by both the owners. Persons can hold property jointly in many ways. These includes:

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Joint tenancy:

The property ownership is known as joint tenancy when the title deed of the property works on the idea of unity and provides each joint owner or co-sharer an equal share in the property. 

Tenancy in entirety:

When there is joint ownership between the married people, this form of joint ownership is known as a tenancy in entirety. The married couples are entitled to jointly hold the property in such kind of ownership. After taking the consent of each other, they can change their shares in the property. After the demise of one of the partners, the other will have complete ownership of the property. 

Tenancy in common:

Joint property ownership is termed as tenancy in common when two or more persons jointly hold the property without holding equal rights in the property. 

Property ownership by nomination

The process by which the owner of the property gives someone the right over his immovable property and other assets in case of his death is called Nomination. It has become a common practice of the owners of the property to nominate a person so that the property does not remain in abeyance, and it is claimed the person so nominated. 

It becomes necessary for the members of the property to nominate a person at the time of getting membership in case the property is in cooperative housing societies. Property ownership means having the right to nominate his nominee.  Notably, a nominee does not become the legal owner of the property just because the property has been transferred in his name and he has possession of the property. A nominee is just the trustee of the property who hands over the property to the legal heirs of the real owner of the property. The nominee will not have any legal right to the property. He only represents the legal heirs of the late owner of the property in the form of the trustee without getting any property ownership rights

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The types of property ownership have been discussed above. To hold the property ownership, the property must be transferred through the contract. The Contract must be drafted according to the due procedure of law. It is also important to get the property registered. To draft the contract and to get the property registered, it is important to take expert legal advice on the property. Legal advice on the property helps a person make a task easier and less time-consuming. Therefore, one must take correct legal advice.

Whether it is sole ownership or joint ownership, tap to read all the benefits of property ownership in India.

Adv. Umapathi Natarajan

Adv. Umapathi Natarajan


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With 24 years of independent practice, Advocate Umapathi Natarajan has gained extensive experience in handling legal cases while providing legal consultancy and advisory services with a focus on achieving results in an ethical and professional manner. Advocate Umapathi Natarajan, who can speak English, Tamil, and Telugu, possesses excellent communication skills that enable him to articulate arguments persuasively in both written and verbal forms.

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