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in Soviet law, the right to property that belongs to two or more people.
Joint ownership may be personal, as when several persons jointly own a residential building, or it may be public or socialist in form. Joint ownership may be divided into shares or held in common. Under joint ownership apportioned by shares, each participant (owner) has a definite share of the right of joint ownership. Possession, use, and disposition of the owned object is determined with the consent of all owners; in case of dispute, such matters are determined by court decision on a suit brought by any owner. Expenses incurred in the course of joint ownership, such as taxes and repairs, are distributed among the owners proportionally with their shares. Each owner has the right to transfer his share to another person. When a share of joint ownership is offered for sale, the other participants have a preferential right of purchase.
With ownership in common there are no shares, and each owner is owner of all of the property together with the others. Property held by spouses, by a kolkhoz household, and by an individual peasant household is recognized as property held in common.