Can my ex-boyfriend make me sell my house if he is on the title?

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Can my ex-boyfriend make me sell my house if he is on the title?

My boyfriend at the time and I purchased a house and days after it closed we broke up and he moved away. The loan is in my name but he is on title as a joint tenant. Can he force me at any point to sell my house and fight for any equity I have accumulated?

Asked on November 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, as a legal owner your ex-boyfriend has the same rights regarding the house as you do. This is true even if you have paid most or all of the downpayment, mortgage, maintnenace, repairs, etc. This is also true no matter how long that you have occupied the house without him. Accordingly, you will need to make arrangments for buying him out. If you do not, then he can file for a "partition". This is a legal remedy which is employed when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters. In such an action, the court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), then it order a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be put on the market for fair market value. Then, when an offer is accepted and the sale completed, the proceeds will be equitably distributed to all of the owners. However, first, the party who wants to keep the property will be given the chance to buy out any other owner who wants to sell.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, as a legal owner your ex-boyfriend has the same rights regarding the house as you do. This is true even if you have paid most or all of the downpayment, mortgage, maintnenace, repairs, etc. This is also true no matter how long that you have occupied the house without him. Accordingly, you will need to make arrangments for buying him out. If you do not, then he can file for a "partition". This is a legal remedy which is employed when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters. In such an action, the court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), then it order a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be put on the market for fair market value. Then, when an offer is accepted and the sale completed, the proceeds will be equitably distributed to all of the owners. However, first, the party who wants to keep the property will be given the chance to buy out any other owner who wants to sell.


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