3 siblings own property together, Undivided 1/3 interest. Can two of the siblings make the other sibling buy them out or focre the sale of the home?

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3 siblings own property together, Undivided 1/3 interest. Can two of the siblings make the other sibling buy them out or focre the sale of the home?

Summit Co. OHIO. 3 siblings own a property together, Undivided 1/3 interest. Property is paid off and was obtained through their father’s death. None of the chilkdren lived in the home for the past 10 years. One sibling is living in home, (after the title transfer, about 3 months) not paying any form of rent to the other two. The two non-resident sibilings would like to sell the home outright or have the other sibling buy them out. Resident sibling is unable/unwilling to buy out other siblings and will not allow home to be put up for sale or vacate the home.

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The sibling living in the home has every right to be there and unfortunately to live there rent free until told otherwise by the court. The only option is for one or both of the other siblings to file a partition action. This is an action for a party to obtain their interst in the house. Since the house cannot be physically divided it will come doen to money. If the sibling who resides there wants to continue doing so, he would have to buy the other siblings interest out of the premises. It is a relatively clear cut proceeding although each state varies on the various reasons that it could be denied. Usually it would be a showing of hardship on the part of the person seeking to deny the sale. In this event, the court may allow him to stay but may require him to pay all real estate taxes and even rent to the other siblings. Hardsip is very hard to prove under any defiinition and if there no mortgage it will be nearly impossible.

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You don't state how you all hold title, as joint tenants or tenants in common.  However, while there is a distinction legally, as a practical matter under your facts it probably won't matter.

Since one sister can't buy out the other two, the two wanting to sell with have to go to court to seek their relief.  The court then has one of two choices, it can partition the property in question or force a sale.  In this instance partition of a single-family home would be impractical, so a forced sale would be the solution.  Proceeds would be then be divided proportionality; here 1/3 each.

The above will hold true absent some extenuating circumstances which you have not presented here.  I don't think your sister's occupancy will change matters.


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