House is owned by brother and sister after death of mother. Brother will notmove out or pay rent to sister. Sister was told that to sell the house without brother’s permission, it would have to be auctioned ‘on the steps of the courthouse’. Is this tru

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House is owned by brother and sister after death of mother. Brother will notmove out or pay rent to sister. Sister was told that to sell the house without brother’s permission, it would have to be auctioned ‘on the steps of the courthouse’. Is this tru

House left to brother and sister. Brother will not move out, or agree to sell, and will not pay sister rent.

Asked on May 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters, the law provides the legal remedy of "partition". In such an action, the court will order that the property be divided, if feasible. If not (such as in the case of a single family house), then it will order a "sale in lieu of partition" which means that the property be sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equitably distributed. However, before it is placed on the market, any owner who wishes to buy the other owner out as the right to do so.


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