Deeds and Title

Ownership and Deeds in Texas

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 Texas.

Types of Ownership in Texas

Texas recognizes four basic types of ownership: sole ownership, community property, joint tenants, and tenants in common. 

Sole Ownership in Texas

In this type of ownership, one individual or entity owns the property completely, with no other tenants. As Texas is a community property state, a spouse cannot acquire property without the other spouse gaining an ownership interest.  Additionally, for non-community property, the homestead doctrine applies, and the non-owner spouse is required to sign any deed selling or encumbering any property considered a homestead. 

Community Property in Texas

Texas is one of the nine community property states. This means that any property acquired during a marriage by either spouse is owned by both spouses jointly. Upon the death of one spouse, the deceased spouse’s share of community property passes according to the deceased’s will. 

If there is no will, the property passes according to Texas intestacy statutes. The question is whether there are children, and whether the surviving spouse is the parent of the children. If the answer is yes, all community property passes to the surviving spouse. If the answer is no, then the deceased’s share of community property passes to the children. 

Joint Tenants in Texas

Texas recognizes joint tenancy as a common form of joint ownership for non-spouses. This form allows multiple people or entities to own a title interest to the property, and comes with various rights and responsibilities. There are two types of joint tenancies in Texas. The first is a typical joint tenancy, in which a deceased tenant’s share of property passes to their heirs via a will or state intestacy law. 

The other form is joint tenancy with a right of survivorship. The right of survivorship is a commonly used means of passing property without requiring probate. In this case, the surviving tenant would own the deceased tenant’s share immediately on the deceased tenant’s death regardless of will.

Tenancy in Common in Texas

Texas also recognizes tenancy in common as a form of co-ownership for non-spouses. 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 Texas

The most common deed form in Texas 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. Special warranty deeds are also available, and provide a guarantee that the seller has not done anything to affect the title during the time the seller has owned the property. 

Quitclaim and no warranty deeds are also used, but only in specific situations.


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. 

Texas, in particular, has very strong marital protections. First, Texas is a community property state, giving spouses ownership rights over everything acquired during the marriage. In addition, homestead law can give a non-owner spouse rights even when a house is not community property. Understanding these rights and when each applies can go a long way to understanding transactions in Texas. 

*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.