191. Joint tenancy.

192. Tenancy in common.

193. Coparcenary.

194. Tenancy by entireties.

195. Community property.

196. Partnership property.

197. Ouster of cotenant.

198. Accounting by cotenant.

199. Contracts and conveyances by cotenant.

200. Contribution as between cotenants.

201. Acquisition of adverse title.

202. Actions by cotenants.

203. Voluntary partition.

204. Compulsory partition.

Sec. 190. General nature of co-ownership

While, as a general rule, lands or estates therein are held by one person in severalty, that is, in his own right only, without any other person being joined or connected with him in the ownership, this is not necessarily the case, and two or more persons may have undivided interests in the land; the common characteristic of all such interests being that the owners have no separate rights as regards any distinct portion of the land, but each is interested, according to the extent of his share, in every part of the whole land.1 Such co-ownership bears different names, and presents different characteristics, according to the various methods and circumstances of its creation. Each of the various forms of co-ownership will be here considered separately, and subsequently tit. 18, c. 1, Sec.Sec. 12-15; 2 Blackst. Comm. 181; 4 Kent, Comm. 357.

Regarded as taking effect by way of use,5 the theory being apparently that in such a case the whole property passes out of the grantor at one time, vesting in the donee who is first ascertained or becomes capable, to be divested out of him, as regards an undivided interest or interests, by way of shifting use, in favor of the donee or donees subsequently ascertained or becoming capable. And a like view has been taken as regards a gift to two or more persons by will, the divesting in that case taking place by way of executory devise.6 At common law, on the other hand, the different moieties must pass out of the grantor at different times in order to vest in the grantees at different times. Since joint tenants in theory have together but one estate, they both necessarily have the same amount of interest. For instance, one joint tenant cannot have a one-fourth interest and the other a three-fourths interest. It is ordinarily, however, inequitable that they should have the same beneficial interests if they contribute unequally to the payment of the purchase price, and accordingly it is the rule in England that while they hold the legal title in equal shares, there is a resulting trust to each in proportion to his contribution.6a In this country the question does not appear to have been the subject of decision.

1. See 2 Blackst. Comm. 179; 2 Cruise Dig. tit. 18, c. 1, Sec. 1;

Digby, Hist. Real Prop. (4th Ed.), p. 274.

(624) some characteristics common to two or more of them will be considered.

Not infrequently co-ownership occurs in connection with rights and possibilities of future possession, as when land is limited by way of remainder or executory interest in favor of two or more persons, or of a class of persons. Such a mode of co-ownership, however, calls for no particular comment as regards the undivided character of the individual interests, and we will in this chapter restrict our consideration of co-ownership to the cases in which it involves, or may involve, a co-possession of the land.