Office of the Mufti

Fatwa on Joint Tenancy (2008)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيد المرسلين وإمام المتقين نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين. اللهم

أرنا الحق حقا وارزقنا اتباعه، وأرنا الباطل باطلا وارزقنا اجتنابه . وبعد ،

As a result of feedback received on problems faced by Muslims who bought property as joint tenants following the death of a joint owner, and upon taking into consideration Islamic Law pertaining to this matter, the Fatwa Committee decrees that: 

  1. If no other arrangement or agreement has been made between the joint owners of a property, upon the death of one of the joint owners, the surviving joint owner will not have full ownership of the property. The surviving joint owner shall only be entitled to half (50%) of the value of the property. This (50%) entitlement arises from his/her position as a joint tenant.
  2. The other heirs of the estate of the deceased cannot, however, compel the surviving joint tenant to sell the property until such time as it is suitable for the surviving joint tenant to sell it. At the same time, the surviving joint tenant cannot delay the sale of the property without reasonable grounds as it may encroach on the rights of other beneficiaries.

  3. If, however, other arrangements or agreements have been made between the joint tenants, either through a “hibah ruqba” (ruqba-gift) or a “nuzriah” (vow) which expressly states that the property is to be given wholly to the surviving joint tenant, in the event of death of one of the joint tenants, then the entire property shall vest in the surviving joint tenant. This is consistent with the present laws on joint-tenancy in Singapore.

Last updated on 16/1/2018