Report No. 86
So long as those having concurrent interests continue to enjoy it in common, the law would not interfere. When, however, a desire arises for separate enjoyment, the law must regulate the rights and liabilities in the light of the conflicts that might ensue. The legal term "partition" is applied to the division of lands, tenements, and hereditaments belonging to co-owners and the allotment among them of the parts,2 so as to put an end to the community of ownership between some or all of them. The co-owners may be joint tenants, tenants in common, or co-parceners.
Thus, if three persons are co-owners (tenants in fee simple) of Blackacre, Whiteacre, and Greenacre, the transaction by which one of them becomes sole owner in fee simple of Blackacre, another of Whiteacre, and the third of Greenacre, is a "partition". Partition is thus a legal process by which joint title and possession of co-owners of joint property is converted into the separate title and possession of each of the co-owners in respect of specific item or items. The joint property is divided into species and each one of the erstwhile co-owners is put in possession of a specific extent of property allotted to his share. In some cases, however, partition will not be convenient and the Act concentrates on that situation seeking to provide suitable alternatives.
1. Cf. Black Law Dictionary (1979), p. 264.