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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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