Can I access/withdraw equity in a home jointly owned, without selling it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I access/withdraw equity in a home jointly owned, without selling it?

My 3 adult siblings and I own our childhood home equally, with one sibling physically living at the property. They refuse to sell or move and I am wondering how I can access my share of the equity in the home, or gain access to my monetary share of the home. We estimate the home is worth 100,000, but that appraisal amount is about 5 years old the house is located in Cleveland, OH. The house is paid in full, property taxes are paid semi-annually.

Asked on January 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, one owner cannot encumber (e.g. mortgage; take out a HELOC or reverse mortgage; etc.) a property without the consent of the other owners. If you and your siblings agree to let you (or all of you) tap the equity without selling, you can do that; but otherwise not. Without agreement of all the owners, your only recourse--and it is a drastic one--would be to file a "partition" legal action or lawsuit (your state may have a different name for it than "partition") in county court, seeking a court order compelling the sale of the property and the distribution of the proceeds among the owners. A forced or compulsory sale is the law's remedy when property owners cannot agree as to what to do with it.

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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