Can a co-owner make the other co-owner sell?

My sister and I inherited a house from our parents. It is now in both of our names and I want to put it on the market she does not.

Asked on June 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When co-owners of property (real or personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters, the law provides the remedy known as "partition". In a partition action, if a property can be divided equally, the court will instruct that it be done. However, if division is impractical (as in the case of a house), then the court will order a sale with the proceeds to be equitably distributed. First, however, if an owner wants to keep the property they will be given the chance to buy out the other owner for fair market value. Otherwise, the property will be offered for sale to the general public.


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