What are my rights as a co-owner when I want to live in the home but the other co-owner wants their child to live there?

Basically telling me I have no rights to the property and their wishes come first? Can I force them to buy me out or force them to sell to me? I really want to keep the home but my sister is very unreasonable and wants it for her kids. We both inherited it from our brother.

Asked on April 4, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have *equal* rights as co-owners. Either you or your sister (or her child, if she wants) can live there, and neither can exclude the other. If the space is large enough for you and the child to both live there--e.g. two bedrooms or more--you can both live in it, and if your sister or her child don't like you living there, the child can move out. If it's not large enough for both to live there or you and she simply can't decide on a usage (e.g. neither you nor the child want to live with the other), if you can't voluntarily work matters out between you, you can go to court and seek a court order requiring the property to be sold and the proceeds distirbuted or split. You would file the action in chancery court (a division of county court), seeking an order for "partition."


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