Young Man Studying Joint Tenancy and Land Ownership

Joint Tenancy: Think 'PITT'

Land ownership can be a challenge for students enrolled in Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading. It’s a substantial course (over 700 pages) and acronyms can help when getting ready for the exam. They are easy to remember and can help sharpen your recall abilities on that important day.

Here’s an example. Joint tenancy is one of two forms of concurrent ownership covered in Chapter 1. (Note: The other is tenants-in-common.) Common law assumes that two or more owners are tenants-in-common unless four unities are present. That’s where PITT comes in. The four unities are: 

  • Possession (the owners together have possession of the property),
  • Interest (they have the same interest; if two owners; then 50/50; if four owners; then 25% each, etc.),
  • Time (their ownership began at the same time), and
  • Title (proof of ownership comes from a single deed).

Now, back to the exam. You’re staring at an MCQ about joint tenancy.

Answer option (a) states: Joint tenancy consists of three unities (Can’t be – PITT has four).

Answer option (b) states: Joint tenancy has four unities: Possession, Concurrency, Time and Title (Nope, there’s no C in PITT). Enough said . . . you get the point. Acronyms not only help simplify complex topics, but also stimulate your brain for instant recall.