Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–516. Tenancies in common, tenancies by the entireties, and joint tenancies.

(a) Every estate granted or devised to 2 or more persons in their own right, including estates granted or devised to spouses or domestic partners, as defined in § 32-701(3), shall be a tenancy in common, unless expressly declared to be a joint tenancy; but every estate vested in executors or trustees, as such, shall be a joint tenancy, unless otherwise expressed.

(b) An interest in property, whether held in tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by the entirety, may be granted by 1 or more persons, as grantor or grantors:

(1) To 1 of them alone as grantee; or

(2) To the following, as grantees in tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by the entirety:

(A) The grantors alone;

(B) Two or more of the grantors;

(C) The grantor or grantors and another person or persons; or

(D) One or more of the grantors and another person or persons.

(c) A tenancy by the entirety may be created in any conveyance of real property to spouses or to domestic partners as that term is defined in § 32-701(3).


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1352, ch. 854, § 1031; June 30, 1902, 32 Stat. 538, ch. 1329; Dec. 7, 1970, 84 Stat. 1390, Pub. L. 91-530, § 1; Apr. 27, 1994, D.C. Law 10-110, § 2(d), 41 DCR 1023; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231,§ 33(a), 55 DCR 6758; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 6(a), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-216.

1973 Ed., § 45-816.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (a), substituted “including estates granted or devised to spouses or domestic partners, as defined in § 32-701(3),” for “including estates granted or devised to husband and wife,”.

D.C. Law 18-33 added subsec. (c).