How do we avoid the sale of a home when there are multiple owners on a deed?

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How do we avoid the sale of a home when there are multiple owners on a deed?

My aunt tricked my grandmother into signing her portion of the home to her (my aunt). My aunt wants to sell the home now, she owns 2/3. My mother owns 1/3 of the property and doesn’t want to sell, niether does my grandmother. What should we do?

Asked on June 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

New York provides an equitable remedy known as partition.  The term “partition” means the division of property among co-owners.  Real property held by co-owners as a tenancy in common or a joint tenancy may be partitioned.

If a property can be physically divided the Court will so instruct.  However, here division would be impracticable since we are dealing with a single family dwelling.  In this instance, the Court will either (1) order a sale of the property and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners; or (2) order a partition which would permit one co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner instead of a physical division of the property or a court-ordered sale.

So basically you can sell the house or buy out your aunt.  It's unfortunate it comes down to this but legally those are your options.


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