How can I get a co-owner off the deed if they don’t want to do a quitclaim?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I get a co-owner off the deed if they don’t want to do a quitclaim?

My grandfather bought a house for my sister and I. I pay the property taxes and keep the house in good standing. My sister on the other hand refuses to take any form of responsibility as a homeowner will not pay any of the property taxes and is destroying the home. I want her out and off the deed. She refuses to leave or file a quit claim. What can I do to take her off the deed.

Asked on October 15, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

When the co-owners of real estate cannot agree as to what to do with it, the only way to break the deadlock is for one of them to file an lawsuit for "partition"--for a court order that the property be sold and the proceeds (after costs of sale and paying off any mortgage or back-due taxes) be distributed between the owners. The action can be voluntarily settled at any point by one of the owners agreeing to sell or otherwise transfer the property to the other, if that is mutually agreeable.
Such an action is considerably more procedurally complex than, say, suing someon in small claims court over an unpaid bill or a fender-bender. You are strongly encouraged to retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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