What are my rights if I purchased a house 6 months ago with someone else but now I want to sell?

I put in 60%; he put 40% and we purchased the property all cash (no mortgage). The relationship is not working out and I would like to get out, he is not interested in ending this very loveless and uncomfortable situation. I don’t want to lose any of my money.

Asked on July 10, 2014 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There is a legal remedy for a situtation in which owners of jointly held property disagree as to its use and disposition. This remedy is known as "partition". In an action for partition, the court will determine if the property in question, either real or personal, is capable of being divided. If, as a practical matter, it is not the court will order a sale at fair market value. However, it will first give the right to purchase the asset to any owner who wants to retain it (i.e. who does not want to sell). If the asset is sold, the proceeds are proportionately distributed to each owner.

That having been said, a partition action is an expensive remedy, not to mention a time-consuming undertaking. You need to consult with a real estate attorney about how to proceed. However, you may first want to discuss this with your co-owner and explain that what's left after court costs and legal fees isn't worth the fight and that maybe they should just agree to a sale now rather than later (as per at the direction of a judge).

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