Cottage Co-ownership, what you need to consider...



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Cottage co-ownership is common in everyday life.

A husband and wife owning a property together is called Joint Tenancy, where if one person dies the other automatically receives title.

Another form of ownership, Tenant-in-Common is slightly different.

In the above situation the title to the property would pass to the deceased's estate. In other words the owner can choose who gets the ownership interest.

Happy Couple

Tenant-in-common can be the simplest form of a sharing a property.

All of the co-owners are named on the deed and share in the mortgage costs.

...but be careful...

Cottage Co-ownerships are becoming more common as families and friends look to ownership of a cottage property.

Many of these shared ownership arrangements work very well with few issues.

Others are not so successful.

When considering sharing a cottage it should be a business relationship and not left to chance.

Little Silver Lake

There are numerous issues that can occur during ownership below are a few examples.

  • Someone stops paying their share of the bills

  • Different housekeeping standards

  • Disagreements over work to be done

  • Someone not doing the work required (cutting the grass)

  • Someone doing more than the work required- renovations, cutting trees down

  • Who gets the cottage weeks and when

  • Loaning it to friends?

  • Renting weeks

  • What if someone wants to sell their share?

Relaxing on the Lake

Their are numerous other issues that can occur, job loss, divorce etc.

As many issues as possible should be covered in a co-ownership agreement that will allow all families to know their rights and responsibilities of ownership. Have a BBQ, sit down with your family and/or friends and discuss the terms, conditions, usage, maintenance, and everything in between.

Your agreement should deal with everything you discussed and other things you may not even think are necessary. You actually should plan and treat it like a business.

Our page on co-ownership agreements is a great starting point for what needs to be considered.

There are risks without a proper structure in place.

Discuss it , plan it, and make it work for everyone.


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