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You want to sell but your co-owner doesn’t. What next?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Real Estate Disputes |

Real estate can be a great investment.  It can also sometimes turn into a burden.  You have to pay taxes and insurance on the property, which could be quite expensive in some circumstances.  You also have to think about maintaining the property.  Yard maintenance and regular inspections will be necessary even if no one lives there.  Dealing with tenants can also be a challenge.

Eventually, you may decide that you would rather sell the property than continue to retain it indefinitely.  Unfortunately, your co-owner may not agree.  Whether you bought a piece of real estate jointly with another person or share an inherited property with someone, all of the owners on the title have to agree about a transfer of ownership or new financing for the property.

If you would like to list the property for sale and the other co-owner doesn’t want to sell it, what are your options?

You can file a partition action in civil court

Joint owners of real estate disagreeing about what to do with a property is a somewhat common occurrence.  There is an established legal method to address a disagreement between co-owners about a piece of real property.

The person hoping to sell the property can file a partition action or partition lawsuit.  Such a lawsuit asks a judge to split up the property among the people who own it.  In some cases, such as vacant acreage, they may be able to separate one property into multiple properties.  Each person can do what they want with their own parcel.

Other times, the judge can give the owner who doesn’t want to sell the option of buying out the other owner.  Finally, the judge can order the sale of the property and allow the co-owners to share the proceeds of the sale.  Any of these outcomes would allow you to sever your financial and practical obligations for property maintenance while also allowing you to profit from the sale of the property.

Splitting real estate can be a difficult process

You believe that selling soon will allow you to make the biggest return on your investment, and you probably hope that your decision will benefit not just you but the other co-owner of the property as well.  Rather than waiting and potentially losing an opportunity, it may be time to separate your financial investments from those of someone who doesn’t agree with your vision or long-term plans.

Filing a partition action can be a simple solution to what could otherwise be a very complicated issue.


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