If my siblings and I inherited our parents house and my sister lives there but my brother and I both want to sell, is it possible to force a sale because she has no way of possibly buying us out?

Also, she is asking for us to give her 2 years rent free. So we are wondering how that will affect us on capital gains tax.

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

So long as the property is now in your names (and no longer in your parents' name), then as a co-owner you have a legal remedy. When joint owners of property cannot agree on ownership matters, the law allows "partition". This entails going before a judge who can order a division of the property, if practical. If not, such as in the case of a single family house, they will order that the property be sold and the proceeds equitably distributed. However, the court will first allow any owner who wishes to retain the property the "right of first refusal"; this means that they can buy out the party who wants to sell for fair market value before it is offered to the public. Just be aware that such a lawsuit is expensive and time-consuming. Accordingly, you may want to inform your sister of all of this. Possibly after having done so, she will be more agreeable to work things out.

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