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Splitting jointly owned real estate when one owner won’t sell

by | Dec 14, 2020 | Real Estate Disputes |

Real estate investing has become a common source of income for middle-class professionals.  There are also many couples who choose to buy a house together despite not wanting to get married.  Some people even own property jointly with their siblings or cousins because they inherited it from a loved one.

If you have joint ownership of a property with someone else, you may not agree about what to do with that particular piece of real estate.  When one property owner wants to retain the property and the other wants to sell or one wants to rent it out but the other wants to live there, the result might be a major conflict.

The good news is that if you and a co-owner of a property don’t agree about what to do with it, there is a legal solution available for your problem.  You can file a partition action to force the sale of the property or have the other owner buy you out.

A partition action can change who owns the property

Partition actions are different from state to state.  In Pennsylvania, they can often culminate in the sale of the property in question. Instead of splitting the property, they may instead split its financial value.

The courts will oversee the initial hearing and designate a portion of the ownership interest to each of the people with a claim to the property.  They can also order the sale of the home if the owner still can’t reach an agreement about the property.  In some cases, the property might wind up listed for sale.  Other times, one of the current owners could buy out the others with an interest in the property.

You could always end partition proceedings amicably

Having the entire partition process play out in court can substantially reduce how much everyone receives from the property.  Once the court determines the proper allocation of ownership or the other owner realizes the legal situation they are in, you may be able to reach an agreement.

Partition proceedings can be helpful for couples who did not divide real estate during a divorce, cohabitating couples who never married and other co-owner of a property who cannot agree on how to dispose of that property.


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