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Joint Ownership

Joint ownership refers to a specific piece of property that more than one person owns as a result of any acquisition grounds, and the co-owners’ shares change depending on the source of that ownership. The most frequent form of ownership is by inheritance, whereby a joint property is distributed to all heirs of a bequeathee in accordance with the shares that were assigned to each heir by the judge. When a person specifies in their will that a shared property must be handed to two persons, the will may also serve as a basis for joint ownership.

Further, when two people purchase a common property and the agreement concluded between them sets out the share of each co-owner but if the agreement neglects same, said shares shall be equally divided between the co-owner. There are also other grounds of ownership such as seizure, accession, pre-emption, and prescription.

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Joint ownership according to UAE law

Article 1152 of the UAE Civil Transactions Act defines joint ownership without prejudice to the provisions of the inheritance share of each heir, should two people acquire one more objects due to any reasons of ownership without determining the share for each of them, they shall be co-owners and the shares shall be divided equally between them unless an evidence is produced to the contrary.

Q: Will joint ownership give the right of ownership?
A: Yes, because all ownership corners are available such as the right to use, utilization, and disposal provided that same shall not prejudice the rights of the other co-owners.

Q: Is this type of ownership individual or common?
A: In the light of the definition of the joint ownership, it becomes evident that this ownership is intermediate between the separate absolute ownership and the joint ownership because the share of the co-owner is common in each and every component of the property and this makes it different from the absolute ownership. The commonly owned object is not owned by all co-owners but pro-rata to their respective shares and this makes a distinction between the joint ownership and common ownership. This intermediate ownership constitutes an individual ownership and a type thereof.

Termination of the Joint Ownership and Reasons thereof

The joint ownership is a temporary status that will come to an end and the joint ownership will expire by division as a main reason for termination or it may terminate by agreement when a co-owner sells its common share to another, both co-owners sell all shares to another purchaser, one co-owner inherits the other, or when a co-owner recommends, by virtue of a will, that his/her share shall be transferred to the other.

What does “division of common property” mean?

The division of the common property means, partitioning or determination of the common share by agreement or litigation. The division by mutual agreement necessitates that all co-owners feel satisfied. Division by litigation is effected upon an application submitted by a share holder even if one or more co-owners refuse the same.

It is stipulated that the division shall not adversely affect the use of the property and if it is impossible to effect a division of the property, a co-owner may sell his/her share to the other co-owner or apply for the court to dispose of same according to provisions of the law which is known as liquidation by public auction where the proceeds obtained from said auction are distributed to the co-owners pro-rata with their respective shares in the common property.

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FAQ about Joint Ownership in the UAE

1-Can foreigners buy property in UAE?

In Dubai, freehold sites are eligible for foreign ownership. Foreigners (those who do not reside in the UAE) and expatriate citizens may acquire usufruct rights, freehold ownership rights, or leasehold rights for up to 99 years.

2-Can you co own a property in Dubai?

Real estate in Dubai can be purchased in joint names.

The percentage ownership each investor has in a property can typically be specified when buying in joint names, and that information will appear on the title deed that the Land Department issues when the transfer is complete.

3-How do you show joint ownership?

You must provide evidence of joint ownership to prove you and your partner are the legal owners of the property. You can do this by providing the following documents, which list both parties as co-owners: mortgage statements, bank statements, credit card statements, residential lease agreements, or property tax statements.

Finally, we have to state that the district courts have jurisdiction to settle the claims of common property division and the applications associated therewith irrespective of the amount of said common property.

Based on joint ownership provision cases, its always the best to consult a leading law firm. Khairallah Advocates & Legal Consultants, one of the best law firms in UAE, have years of experience in dealing with joint ownership related cases can help you out in any of the critical situations and make you back on track.