Can the co owner force you to sell?

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Can the co owner force you to sell?

My ex and I purchased a home together. We
have split and he moved out 8 months ago. He
hasn’t paid for anything to do with the house
mortgage, utilities, taxes, only I have. I want
to refinance in my name solely but he is
making the process difficult and is saying he is
refusing. I am financially able to refinance.

Could the judge order me to sell?

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When joint owners of property (real or personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters, one of the owners can file what is called a "partition" action. This is a legal tool designed to resolve disputes in these matters. In such an action, the court will order the division of the property, if practical. However, if it not practical to do so (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be placed for sale at fair market value. Once sold, the proceeds will distributed equitably to each co-owner. That having been said, before the property is offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wishes to retain it can offer to buy out the other owner(s) (again for fair market value).


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