Educational Articles

Specific Articles Organized By Co-Ownership Type

We offer separate resource pages on various types of co-ownership, property sharing, and partnering, each with overviews, FAQs, detailed explorations of specific issues, and relevant laws, newspaper articles, books, and other resources.

Fractional Ownership For Vacation Homes and Resorts

Owning a vacation home in fractional ownership with a small group of family, friends or even strangers, or participating on a more organized private residence club, destination club, or other fractional ownership arrangement, is the fastest growing trend in second home ownership. These arrangements can involve a single home, or a large resort, and can be organized by partnering with a small group of family or friends, or selling fractional interests as a co-buyer, current vacation property owner, Realtor, or developer. Click here for resources on fractional ownership and development of vacation or resort property.

Tenancy In Common (TIC)

Learn about tenancy in common (TIC) and explore the many ways tenants in common ownership is used. Our office pioneered use of tenant in common ownership of multi-unit lots and buildings with a TIC Agreement giving each owner an exclusive right to occupy a particular space (such as an apartment, house or office) within a residential or commercial property. Assigning owner-occupancy rights in a TIC agreement creates an arrangement that feels and acts like a subdivision when legal subdivision is impossible, unaffordable, or too time-consuming. Today, more and more people are using TICs to share single homes or condominiums as co-owner/roommates as a way to buy a first home in markets that are otherwise unaffordable. Follow this to learn more about tenancy in common in general, and TIC arrangements used as an alternative to legal subdivision.

Condominium Conversion and New Construction Subdivision

Follow this for more information on subdivision and conversion to condominiums. Our office has completed more than 4,000 condominium conversions and new construction subdivisions.

Equity Sharing

Equity sharing is an alternative to classic interest-bearing loans, and can be used both to as a down payment source and a way for existing homeowners to unlock their home equity without carrying a monthly payment or a debt. Traditionally, equity sharing was a way for relatives, friends, employers, and religious or educational institutions to help someone buy a home while obtaining investment return and tax benefits. Today, an aggressive and explosively growing group of startups offer equity sharing solutions commercially, and local governments use equity sharing variations to help keep critical employees like firefighters, teachers, and nurses living in the communities they serve. Although equity sharing can have a variety of legal structures, the basic concept is that an investor provides funds to a home owner in exchange for a share in future market appreciation. Let us assist you with equity sharing as well as basic information of interest to first-time home buyers.

Shared and Family Ownership

Owning with others can take many forms and there are an infinite number of reasons and ways shared property is held, many falling outside established co-ownership categories. For example, siblings and cousins inherit property from parents, groups of friends or family partner up to buy property together, and people with shared beliefs, interests, goals or hobbies join up to create new communities as primary or secondary residences. We provide a wealth of information for anyone thinking of becoming involved, or already involved, or in any type of family or shared ownership.

Amendment and Modernization of CC&Rs and Other Condominium Documents

Homeowners associations should periodically replace older CC&Rs and bylaws so they adhere to current law and “best practices”. Updating HOA governing documents can make it easier to sell and refinance, and minimize the likelihood of owner disputes and operational problems. Condominium and planned development owners also amend their covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), bylaws, rules, map, or other governing documents to recognize construction of garages, decks or room additions, or to reflect changes adopted by the owners.

Operating A Homeowners Association

We support members of condominium, planned development and TIC homeowners associations, as well as the many Realtors, managers, accountants and other professionals who deal with these associations. These writings provide the answers to commonly asked questions about forming and operating an HOA, and the text of many laws governing these associations. To learn more about the homeowners association startup, ongoing counsel, and document interpretation legal services offered by SirkinLaw, visit the HOA Page.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

This page relates specifically to limited liability companies, a form of business entity recognized in all 50 U.S. states and may other jurisdictions. An LLC can be used for all types of businesses, including real estate investments. They can also be used for properties that will be partially of fully occupied, used or shared by the owners, but this application is rarer and raises complex organizational and documentation issues.

Investment Groups, 1031 TICs, Crowdfunding, Syndications, Securities

For over 30 years, we have assisted clients with real estate investments (from syndications to individuals and small groups), including tax-deferred exchange (1031) TICs, limited and general partnerships, limited liability companies, and offering and raising money (including crowdfunding and private offerings). Most recently, we have worked on a variety of tech startups designed to provide online trading platforms for various types of property investments that allow new and first-time investors to experiments with very small investment amounts.

Mediation and Dispute Resolution

Our office has been very successful at resolving disputes among co-owners, including homeowners associations (HOAs), tenancy in common (TICs), family partnerships, investor groups, and other shared ownership arrangements. To learn more about the mediation and dispute resolution services offered by SirkinLaw, visit the Mediation Page.

Sample Agreements and Document Templates

We also provide sophisitcated but low-priced sample agreements and document templates for many co-ownership arrangements including investment agreements, co-ownership agreements for unmarried couples and domestic partners, equity sharing agreements, and LLC operating agreements and other documents. These templates are comprehensive, yet written in plain English, not too long, and easy to customize.