Advantages of Holding the Title as Sole Ownership

Property owners have several distinct advantages when holding title as sole owners. Property in one individual's name gives that individual sole discretion over when to sell the property, what to do with the property and how to leave the property to another. Sole ownership is simply less complicated, as the person holding title gets to call all the shots.

Physical Control

  1. When two or more people own title to property, physical control of the property must be shared. For example, when property is owned as a joint tenancy, each tenant must receive permission from the other before starting construction, altering or selling the property. In joint tenancies, if one tenant causes damage to property, the other tenant can sue for "waste," and possibly for partition. Partition occurs when a co-tenant convinces a court that a jointly-owned property should be partitioned or split up.


  1. In community property states, all property acquired through the course of a marriage is considered by courts to be owned in a 50/50 manner by both spouses. However, property purchased prior to marriage is considered separate, meaning the sole owner does not have to split the property with a spouse in the event of divorce. In states that do not recognize community property during divorce, the chances of having to split property owned solely by one spouse is even less.


  1. Holding title as sole owner allows the owner to leave property to whomever he wishes upon death. Even in community property states, all property considered by courts to be separate -- that is, owned solely by one spouse -- can be left to any person of the decedent's choosing in a will or trust. The ability to dispose of property in any manner -- including leaving it to charity or a non-profit -- is a distinct advantage of sole ownership.

Additional Considerations

  1. Holding title as sole owner has many advantages. However, it's important to remember that if you are married and living in a community property state, property purchased during marriage is considered your spouse's as well; courts will divide this property between spouses upon divorce, unless one spouse forfeits his 50 percent share.