Canmy brother force the sale of co-owned home if it is my place of residence?

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Canmy brother force the sale of co-owned home if it is my place of residence?

I have been living in the home for 40 years. My brother has not resided in the home for 15 years. It was our now deceased parents home. My mother had become ill and I was her primary caregiver for 14 years. During that time the home ownership was transferred to my sibling and myself. I no longer am able to work as I am permanently disabled and live on a fixed income. Do my circumstances have any weight in preventing my sibling from forcing a sale of the home?

Asked on June 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  You and your sibling have the exact same rights in the home.  So he could force a sale as you could as well.  What he would probably do is start an action for "partition" which is an action that asks the court to split an asset in two based upon the title and ownership.  With money it is easy: the court just orders the bank account split in half.  With real property it is not so easy because you can not divide a house in two.  So the courts generally order a sale of the asset and the proceeds split between the parties.  Is there any way that you can but him out of his half?  Real estate has deprecated somewhat over the years and maybe the condition of the market now would give you an edge to negotiate a sum a bit below market value.  Get some help.  Good luck. 


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