How do I retain 100 ownership of a property that i have 90 ownership of?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I retain 100 ownership of a property that i have 90 ownership of?

This person who has 10 ownership pays no taxes or fees for the
property and has not seen or been in contact whatsoever regarding
the house for decades, and also does not live in state. Thus,making
it impossible for us to sell.

Asked on August 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can't claim 100% ownership when doing so means taking another person's 10% ownership--the law does not give you the right to take another's ownership of property. His share is his share: you have no right to it. Ordinarily, the recourse would be the sale of the house (which can be done via a court ordering it if necessary, through an action for "partition") an distribution of the proceeds (if any), but if he is living this house (it is his primary residence), your state's homestead laws likely prohibit it--though if does not live there, you can likely force the sale, though it could be expensive in terms of the legal action to do so.
If the house is only worth $19k and has back taxes and a lien on it, perhaps you are best off giving it up: you could contact this person and see if they will accept a quit claim deed giving them your rights, which will get you out from under it. You could also, alternatively, see if you could buy their interest out, for some affordable amount.

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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