DEFINITION of 'Joint Tenancy'
A type of property right where two or more people own or rent a property together, each with equal rights and obligations, until one owner dies. Upon an owner's death, that owner's interest in the property passes to the survivors without the property having to go through probate.
BREAKING DOWN 'Joint Tenancy'
Joint tenancy can be created by deed or by will. For example, an unmarried couple purchases a house. At the time of purchase, the real estate agent asks the couple how they want to own the home. If they opt for joint tenancy, the deed to the property will then name the two owners as joint tenants. Then if one person dies, the other person will automatically become the full owner of the property.