What rights does a tenant-in-common have regarding making improvements to a property?

We inherited property in Utah that is owned among several family members as tenants in common. One family member that owns a share in the property has built a cabin and other structures. He has also put in a well, brought in power and cleared land all without the permission of other tenants in common. By law did he need the permission of the other owners to do so?

Asked on October 29, 2014 under Real Estate Law, Utah


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with a Real Estate attorney in your area to consider if there are laws specifically in place regarding this question.  Generally speaking, each co -  tenant in a tenant -in-common scenario has equal rights to occupy and improve property.  If they do so without the consent and agreement of the other co tenants then then can not seek contribution for what they have done.  But the other co tenants can not reap the benefits from same either. Sounds like he has put in a lot of time and money to improve the property.  Good luck.

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