Can a joint tenant refuse a buyout and force a sale?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a joint tenant refuse a buyout and force a sale?

My husband and I own a duplex with another couple in Los Angeles, CA. They want to sell and we do not.

They found an agent that listed the home without our signatures or any consent. We did not sign a listing

agreement. Is this legal? Yesterday, the agent contacted us to tell us there was an offer but he refused to say how much the offer was for. We have made it clear we do not want to sell. About 6 weeks ago, we paid an appraiser and offered to buy them out. They refused and stated that they would prefer to sell to a stranger. We have tried to negotiate. Our home is still on the market even though we have written and called the broker and the agent and asked them to remove the listing and explained that we are able and willing to buy them

out. Can they refuse a buyout and force us to sell without going to court?

Asked on October 15, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, they can refuse a buyout unless you had a written contract stating that they had to accept one. In the absence of a contract, no one needs to accept an offer to buy them out or sell their interest.
2) They can't force yo. to sell without going to court and getting a court order requiring you to sell
3) They can, however go to court in an action (lawsuit) "for partition" and get a court order requiring the sale.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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