How to legally get someone off of a deed?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to legally get someone off of a deed?

My partner and I have are split up and he’s still living in the house. About 5 months ago, we refinanced it in my name only and his name remained on the deed. He got $10,500 estimate and I got $8,500 estimate from the refi. He says that he has been looking to buy a house. It’s been 4 months now and he is still there. What paperwork can I file and which court do I need to go through to get his name off the deed and him out of the house?

Asked on July 9, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't get him off the deed if you don't have some written contract or agreement with him stating that under the circumstances as they exist, that he would remove himself from the deed. Otherwise, because being on the deed makes him an owner and you can't force an owner of anything--including a house--to give up his ownership interest without his consent, you have no way to remove him. The best you can do is to bring legal action in county could seeking a court order requiring that the house be sold (since you can't even sell against a co-owner's wishes without his/her consent) and the proceeds, after paying the costs of sale and paying off the mortgage, be divided between the two of you. (This kind of legal action is traditionally called an action "for ejectment," but your state may have a different name for it.) Unfortunately, as stated, one owner can't make the other owner give up his ownership interest against that other owner's will, so all you can do is (assuming you and he can't work things out) is force the sale of the home, split the proceeds (if any), and go your own ways. If you want to explore this option, consult with a real estate attorney.

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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