State Real Estate Transfer Tax

  1. How may tenancies in common and joint tenancies be distinguished from each other for the purpose of an exemption under MCL 207.526(r) of the SRETT?

A conveyance or devise to two or more persons is, by statutory presumption, construed to create a tenancy in common unless expressly declared to be held in joint tenancy, except in the case of devises or grants made in trust, or made to personal representatives, or to husband and wife, or to mortgagees; MCL 554.44, 554.45, MSA 26.44, 26.45. See Michigan Land Title Standards, Standard 6.1.

A deed or devise to two or more grantees other than husband and wife as "joint tenants" or as "joint tenants and not as tenants in common" creates a joint tenancy, since the language used constitutes an express declaration sufficient to overcome the statutory presumption.

A conveyance from an individual or party to itself and another person or party creates a tenancy in common not entitled to claim exemption under MCL 207.526(r) unless words creating a joint tenancy are used; in which case an exemption may be claimed under MCL 207.526(r).

Example A: John Adams, grantor, to John Adams and James Madison--not exempt.

Example B: John Adams, grantor, to John Adams and James Madison as joint tenants--exempt.