Can I stop my husband from building a large garage on our property if we ownthe landjointly?

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Can I stop my husband from building a large garage on our property if we ownthe landjointly?

My husband and I jointly own our home. He would like to build a large, 1000 sq ft garage on our property to house his motorcycle collection. I disapprove, believing it’s too large for the property and that without an automobile accessible driveway, it’ll actually hinder our selling the home in the coming years. I fully expect to come home from work one day soon to find the garage in the process of being built. Can he legally do this when I also own the home?

Asked on August 23, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are joint owners.  You have equal rights to do with the property as each of you wish.  Here is the catch: neither of you can do anything that would violate the law or a building ordinance in your State, City or County.  Is he really building a shed?  Does it require permits?  Then he had better get them or you could be heavily fined.  I hate to pit spouses against each other but if it really bothers you  - and you can not come to any form of compromise - then seek help not from an attorney but possibly an architect as to what you would need to do what he wants to do legally.  Then you may have more fighting power.  Good luck.


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