When more than one person owns a piece of property, disputes can arise. When co-owners cannot decide what to do with their real estate or wish to part with it, the process of buying out owners or selling the property and splitting the proceeds can be incredibly complicated. When a real estate dispute amongst co-owners arises, a partition action may be the best course of action to resolve the problem.
Reasons for a Partition Action
Partition actions can be filed for a number of reasons, but they all originate from multiple owners holding the same piece of real estate property. One of the most common causes of a partition action is when multiple heirs inherit a piece of property, and they do not wish to co-own it.
Another reason for partition actions is when multiple people go in together to purchase a piece of real estate, such as a lake house or vacation home, and decide that they would like to go their separate ways. A final reason for a partition action is when more than one person purchases real estate with the intention of living together, but ultimately decide that they no longer wish to do so.
How to Initiate a Partition Action
Partition actions typically come in two forms – partition in kind and partition by sale. An experienced real estate attorney will be able to review your case and advise you which is the better option for your situation.
In a partition in kind, otherwise known as a partition by division, the owners split the land between them with actual, physical boundaries for each owner’s section. This separates the property from one large piece co-owned by multiple people into smaller, individualized pieces each owned by one person.
To initiate a partition in kind, one co-owner must petition the court to split the property into smaller pieces. Rights, titles, interests, easements, zoning regulations, and more all go into a partition in kind, and complex negotiations between all co-owners are attempted to reach a common settlement. If the co-owners cannot agree, a judge makes the final determination on the property split.
In a partition by sale, the entire property is sold as one piece of land, and the proceeds are split amongst the co-owners. This is typically done when a partition in kind does not make sense given how the real estate is structured, such as a single standalone home.
Even in a partition by sale, the court must determine the type of tenancy for the land and whether there are any special circumstances that exist which would mean giving one co-owner a larger piece of the sale. A real estate attorney can handle all negotiations and court appearances in a partition by sale to minimize the issues for you as a co-owner.
A Real Estate Attorney can Help
If you co-own property and are involved in a real estate dispute with your co-owners, a partition action may be what is right for you. Contact Wagenseller Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your real estate matter.