What happens when 3 people own a house and 1 wants to do something the other 2 do not approve of?

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What happens when 3 people own a house and 1 wants to do something the other 2 do not approve of?

I live with my girlfriend and her 2 brothers, JOE and MIKE. It’s a house that is all paid off and ownership is evenly split amongst them. JOE has a wife and 2 kids there. MIKE had a wife and 2 kids there, but they got divorced so MIKE’s wife moved out. The 2 kids live there when it is his turn to watch them. MIKE wants to move to TX and leave one of his girls at the house to live. He wants to move his ex-wife back in so she can watch her. My girlfriend and JOE do not want this, as she’s not liked by anyone in the house. Is there anything they can say or do to prevent her from moving back in?

Asked on May 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, there is not. The fact is that a co-owner of a house can invite whoever they want onto the property, as they see fit. If your girlfriend and other brother do not want their niece and former sister-in-law living in the house, there really isn't much they can do other than filing for a "partition". This is a legal remedy that can be employed when co-owners cannot agree as to ownership matters. One or more of them can file. The judge will order that the property be divided if feasible. If it is not, such as in the case of a single family house, then it will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Pursuant to this, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equitably disributed. First, however, before being offered to 3rd paties for sale, any owner(s) who wants to buy out the other owner(s) can do so, again for fair market value.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, there is not. The fact is that a co-owner of a house can invite whoever they want onto the property, as they see fit. If your girlfriend and other brother do not want their niece and former sister-in-law living in the house, there really isn't much they can do other than filing for a "partition". This is a legal remedy that can be employed when co-owners cannot agree as to ownership matters. One or more of them can file. The judge will order that the property be divided if feasible. If it is not, such as in the case of a single family house, then it will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Pursuant to this, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equitably disributed. First, however, before being offered to 3rd paties for sale, any owner(s) who wants to buy out the other owner(s) can do so, again for fair market value.


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