What are a co-owner’s rights to occupy the property?

There are 3 siblings who own land but 1 sibling threw the other 2 out of the house. We are not allowed to set foot on property. He locks the house, keeps us out and acts like he owns it. They called the law on my husband for walking on my property too. His girlfriend acts like she owns it but even she’s not on the deed. What should I do?

Asked on January 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that all titled owner's to a property have the right to occupy it. If one of the owners is not allowing the other co-owners access, then they can go to court to enforce their legal rights. In a situation such as this, court is definittely the better way to go as oppossed to forcing your way into the house and risk escalating a physical confrontation, or possible outright altercation. Further if you choose, in a situation in which co-owners cannot agree as to ownership matters, they can ask a judge to either partition the property (i.e. divide it if possible) or to order a "sale in lieu of partition" with the procees to be equitably distributed. At this point, you should consult directly with a local real estate attorney.


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