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Drafting Real Property Joint Ownership Agreements: Ownership Structure, Financing Considerations, Dispute Resolution

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, December 14, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will guide real estate practitioners through the essentials of drafting real property joint ownership agreements to establish the ownership structure, the parties' complex rights and obligations under the agreement, possible exit strategies, and avenues of dispute resolution in the event issues arise. The panel will present best practices for drafting and key pitfalls to avoid.


Numerous issues may arise when various parties share the ownership of real property. Therefore, drafting a comprehensive joint ownership agreement with provisions to minimize risk for each party, as well as potential avenues for dispute resolution, is critical when parties collaborate on the purchase of real property.

The provisions contained in the agreement vary based on the parties to the agreement and their goals for the property--from family and friends purchasing property for recreational purposes to professional associates purchasing property for a new business venture. One of the most important initial considerations is outlining the ownership structure. For example, will the parties own individual interests in the real property or interests in an entity that owns the property? If the parties own individual interests in the property directly, will they be tenants-in-common or joint tenants with right of survivorship? Counsel should understand how these and other significant initial considerations affect the provisions in the agreement.

Counsel must avoid pitfalls and conflicts to minimize owner disputes and operational problems when drafting or amending joint ownership agreements. Using boilerplate language is ineffective at best and risky in dealing with the parties' specific needs and expectations.

Listen as our expert panel provides practitioners with a clear understanding of how to draft effective joint ownership agreements, avoid common pitfalls, and amend existing documents.



  1. Introduction
  2. Common issues between joint owners of real property
  3. Drafting the joint ownership agreement to minimize risk
    1. Ownership structure and individual ownership percentages
      1. Direct ownership interest in the real property
        1. Tenants-in-common
        2. Joint tenants with right of survivorship
      2. Interest in ownership entities
      3. Other ownership structures
      4. Considerations for choosing the right ownership structure
    2. Individual contributions (financial and non-financial)
    3. Financing/mortgage information
    4. Mechanics of payment
    5. Paying taxes
    6. Decisions regarding use of property
    7. Maintenance and repair management; property modification
    8. Expense allocation
    9. Distributions of profits
    10. Transferability of interests
    11. Notice requirements
    12. Governing law
    13. Dispute resolution
      1. ADR
      2. Partition
    14. Other considerations
  4. State specific considerations
  5. When and under what circumstances should agreements be updated
  6. Best practices for drafting; costly pitfalls to avoid


The panel will review these and other key considerations:

  • What are initial considerations for counsel before drafting the agreement?
  • What are the options for ownership structure in a real property joint ownership agreement?
  • How does the ownership structure affect the provisions to be included in the agreement?
  • What exit strategies and options for dispute resolution should counsel include in the agreement?
  • When and under what circumstances should agreements be updated?


Allen, Kathryn
Kathryn E. Allen

The Law Office of Kathryn E. Allen

Ms. Allen is an attorney providing legal services covering Business Litigation and General Litigation, Oil and...  |  Read More

Sirkin, Andy
Andy Sirkin

SirkinLaw APC

Mr. Sirkin has focused on real estate co-ownership since 1985 and has been involved in the creation of more than 5,000...  |  Read More

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