In Philadelphia it is very common for two or more people to own a parcel of real estate jointly. Co-ownership of real property can come about for a variety of reasons. An unmarried couple may have purchased the property together as a place to live. Siblings may have jointly inherited the property through a will or trust. Or a group of people or entities may have purchased the property jointly in furtherance of a business venture.
Whatever the reason for joint ownership, it can become an expensive headache if the relationship among the owners deteriorates. When that happens, it may be necessary to partition the owners’ interests so they can go their separate ways.
In Pennsylvania there are basically two ways to partition real estate among co-owners. The property can be divided physically, with each owner getting one piece of the total parcel. In many cases this is unrealistic, particularly when a building has been erected on the property. In these cases it is usually necessary to sell the property and divide the proceeds.
Real estate disputes among co-owners can often be settled through negotiation. If this doesn’t work, one or more of the owners may have to go to court and seek a judicial partition.
Partition actions in Pennsylvania can be complex. The nature of the tenancy each owner has in the property can be a significant factor in determining the outcome. There are often other interests, such as mortgagees, who must receive notice and whose claims must be addressed. Local zoning and other land use regulations may come into play.
Our law firm has the resources and the experience to help you with a real estate co-owner dispute, whether the property in question is residential or commercial. For more information, visit our Partition Actions web page.