Deeds and Title

Ownership and Deeds in Michigan

Every state is slightly different in its laws regarding property ownership. Knowing the basics of property law generally in the United States can go a long way. However, as you buy and sell properties in a state, knowing that market’s specific laws and preferences can help to set expectations and make your transactions move forward more smoothly. 

In this article, we walk through some of the key ownership considerations in Michigan.

Types of Ownership in Michigan

Michigan recognizes four basic types of ownership: sole ownership, tenancy by the entirety, joint tenants, and tenants in common. 

Sole Ownership in Michigan

In this type of ownership, one individual or entity owns the property completely with no other tenants. 

There is a wrinkle in Michigan when it comes to sole ownership. In the case of a married couple, the non-owning spouse must join any mortgage that is not a purchase money mortgage. A purchase money mortgage is one for the amount of, or below the amount of, the purchase price for a property and only given at time of the purchase of the property.. 

Additionally, the non-owning spouse must sign any deed releasing interest in the property when the property is sold. 

Tenant by the Entirety in Michigan

This is a form of ownership specifically created for spouses. In Michigan, spouses have the option of owning property by the entirety, which functions like a joint tenancy in that the surviving spouse will immediately take ownership of the property on the death of the other spouse.

Joint Tenants in Michigan

Michigan recognizes joint tenancy with right of survivorship as a common form of joint ownership. This form allows multiple people or entities to own a title interest to the property, and comes with various rights and responsibilities. In particular, joint tenancies with right of survivorship involve all parties having equal ownership and the right to assume another owner’s interest in the event the other owner dies. 

Tenancy in Common in Michigan

Michigan also recognizes tenancy in common as a form of co-ownership. This is the default type of co-ownership if no other type is specified in a deed. Tenancy in common allows multiple owners to own title in a property, but rather than owning equally, the owners can set varying ownership percentages. For example, one owner could own 51% of the property, with the other owning 49%. Additionally, an owner’s share would pass to the owner’s heirs upon death, rather than passing to the other tenants in common. 

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Types of Deeds in Michigan

The most common deed form in Michigan is the warranty deed. Warranty deeds provide a form of protection to the buyer in the form of a warranty by the seller that guarantees no issues with the title. Covenant deeds, fiduciary deeds, and quitclaim deeds are also available and insurable in Michigan. Unlike many other states, limited warranty deeds are not acceptable in Michigan. 


Knowing how a property is typically conveyed in a state, and what types of ownership are available for the title can go a long way to ensuring a smooth transaction. While Michigan has fairly standard ownership laws and document customs, it is important to note that Michigan does grant non-owning spouses additional rights.

*The information provided on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, financial, tax, or real estate advice. Please consult your expert for advice in those areas. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Although Blueprint provides information it believes to be accurate, Blueprint makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.