Co-ownership of property brings with it many rights and duties under the law. These rights and duties can vary depending on whether co-owners hold property as tenants in common or joint tenants; these are the two most popular forms of joint ownership in the state. Regardless of the ownership scheme, however, both forms of cotenancy share the same indisputable right: the right of possession. (Bakanauskas v. Urdan (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 621, 628-630.)
The right to possession is straightforward. Whether a co-owner holds a 1% or 99% ownership interest, they are nonetheless entitled to occupy the whole of the property if they so choose. (Dabney v. Dabney (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 379, 382.) Of course, the “right” often does not meet the practicalities of the situation. To that end, co-owners have developed “TIC” agreements, wherein they agree to limit their right to occupy the jointly owned premises.
TIC agreements, too, seem straightforward enough, but they became the subject of controversy when used with rental properties. Due to California’s skyrocketing housing costs, some co-owners of rental units enacted TICs amongst themselves so that each could have the exclusive right to occupancy (ERO) in particular dwelling units within the rental property.