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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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