If I own majority of property inherited cousins 3 total own only 1/10th do I have majority rights to property

Each of us kids inherited our parents inherited land my grandmother willed equally to all her kids, there were 11 total. She allotted 1/10th to each, with my dad having permission to live there in the house until his death. As they all were aging/dying, my dad tried and succeeded with the majority of them, buying each shares in hopes of obtaining all ownership, especially since he was only one paying for any/all upkeep and taxes. As of today, there are none of my grandma’s kids left, so I obtained my dad’s portion and I have 3 cousins own 1/10 each from their parents, none of which willed to us only passed on as inheritance. I’ve tried buying out each cousin /or selling them my part, none will budge regardless the price offered they want 1/10 of any made back to when my dad took over 34 years ago to current date, which I have his tax records show he never made a dime on the land for any farming, he always broke even when given cost for seed, whatever to farmer leasing the land plus the property taxes each year, not to mention any other maintenance/upkeep paid to keep the house in living conditions. I want out of this, I’m not fortunate enough to have money like the others to fight so I need to know my options that’ll benefit me the best.

Asked on July 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that all owners of property have equal right to occupy or otherwise use it. However, you do have recourse. When co-owners of real estate cannot agree as to ownership matters, there is a legal remedy known as "partition". In such an action, the property will be ordered to be divided if feasible. In not, as in the case of a single family house, the court will instead order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equtably distributed. That having been said, before the property is offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wants to buy out the other owners out is given the chance to do so. At this point, you can consult directly with a local real estate attorney who can best advise you further.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unlike with corporations, majority ownership of real estate does not convey you any useful rights: your cousins have the same rights as you to use, occupy, etc. the property; to receive any profits from the property, or exploit any resources; and cannot be forced to sell out to you (they can voluntarily sell to you, but cannot be required to). 
Any owner--either you or them--who is dissatisfied with what is being done with the property has the right to bring a legal action traditionally called an action "for partition" in which the court orders that the property be sold and the proceeds (after paying the cost of sale and any liens or mortgages) be split among the owners in proportion to ownership: you'd receive 7/10ths of the profit if the land were sold. But that's effectively all you can do if you can't get them to agree to sell and don't like co-owning with them: force an overall sale of the land. To explore that option, consult with a real estate attorney.


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