What can I do if my ex-boyfriend won’t cooperate on selling our house?

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What can I do if my ex-boyfriend won’t cooperate on selling our house?

My ex-boyfriend and I bought a house together 7 months ago. We broke up and he moved out

recently. He has only taken a few personal belongings and left everything else, including a broken down camper he refuses to move. I put down all 32k on the house and he claims he gets half of the proceeds if/when I sell. He refuses to talk with me rationally, resorts to abusive name-calling, and I am trying to find out what my rights are. Can anyone help?

Asked on April 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In whose name is the house? If only yours, he has no rights to it. If in both your names, he is a owner of it along with you and is entitled to a share of the proceeds. If you and he cannot voluntarily agree to or work out who gets what, you can bring a legal action which was traditionally called an action "for partition" (though your state may have a different name for it) seeking a court order compelling the sale of the home--courts have the power to order the sale of real estate when the several owners cannot agree as to what to do to it. In that court action, you can ask the court to order that you be repaid out of the proceeds for the money you provably put in which he didn't (e.g. that the first $32k after paying costs of sale and paying off the mortgage repay your down payment, then any proceeds over that be divided between the two of you). Since this kind of lawsuit can be expensive and take months, it is strongly advised that you and he work matters out between the two of you, even you accept getting less than the full amount, in order to avoid the cost and delays of litigation. If you want to explore the option of this legal action, consult with a real estate attorney.


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