Property and land ownership types

Land and property can be owned in different ways, and by more than one person. When you buy a property, make sure you determine the type of ownership that will be stated in the land title.

Sole ownership is when land and property is owned by one person.

Joint ownership

When property is owned by two or more people, the ownership will be either:

  • tenants in common
  • joint tenancy

There are important legal differences between these two types of ownership.

Tenants in common

This type of joint ownership is often used where the buyers of the property are known to each other and they have pooled their funds to purchase the property.

Tenants in common:

  • hold a share of the property based on each person’s contribution
  • can request a separate certificate of title for each share of the property. This allows for the owner to outline in their will who will inherit their property share.

Joint tenants

This type of joint ownership is commonly used by couples. When one owner dies, their partner becomes the owner of their interest in a property.

Joint tenants have:

  • an equal interest in the whole of the property
  • one certificate of title is issued.

Get a copy of your title

Requesting a copy of a certificate of title is called a 'Register search' on the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).

A certificate of title is an official record of land ownership. You might need this certificate for things such as development applications or applying for council approval for an addition to your property.

Related information

On this site

Certificates of title

Other websites

Registration forms - Land Services SA

Page last updated 22 June 2022

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