What action can be taken?

State Texas

Parties Siblings

Story Parents deceased leave a property to 5 Children.
1 child has acquired all but one share of property legally.
the sibling that owes the last portion refuses to share in cost to maintain and repair property. Making it unable to be sold and in the near future majority owner will pass away and have to leave to his Children.

Question
1. can anything be done to collect funds that have already been paid by majority owner from minority owner?

2. can a lien /judgment be placed in order to secure those funds?

3. an suggestions on how to acquire the other portion as the minority owner is unresponsive and not willing to negotiate.

Asked on August 26, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You cannot put a lien on the property or her interest in it to recover the amounts the majority owner spent to protect his interest in the property (i.e. he choose voluntarily to spend those amounts, albeit for good reasons; therefore, he cannot make her reimurse him); nor can you "acquire" the minority owner's interst unless she is willing to sell it to him and he is willing to buy at the price she wants.
What can be done when the co-owners of real estate cannot agree as to what to do is that one of them can bring an action "for partition" in court: this is a lawsuit brought in chancery court (a division or part o county court) asking the court to issue an order requiring that the property be sold and the proceeds distributed among the owners in proportion to their ownership interest. That--partition, or the sale of the property and distribution of the proceeds--is the law's remedy for situations like this. If the majority owner wishes to explore this option, which can be a procedurally complex one, he or she should consult with a real estate attorney.


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