I have 85 interest in a property I wish to sell and for which I have a buyer. What are my options if the 15 interest holder cannot be found.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

I have 85 interest in a property I wish to sell and for which I have a buyer. What are my options if the 15 interest holder cannot be found.

The property was purchased for me about ten years ago by a relative who was a
contractor. He intended to develop the property but died soon after its
purchase. There are back taxes on the property, and the country has tried
unsuccessfully to sell it at auction. I have a buyer for the property who will
pay the back taxes. However, the intended builder of the property has a 15
interest. I have never known him and have had no success in finding him in the
county. My guess is that he no longer cared about the property after my
relative/contractor died, as there has been no contact from him. But he’s
still on the deed, although with no address. It seems like there should be a
win-win solution

1 The county wants the money
2 Mr. 15 no longers cares what happens
3 A buyer wants to buy the property
4 I want to sell the property

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have to bring a legal action to get a court order for the sale: you cannot unilaterally sell the home without providing notice to your co-owner, and even if you have legitimately tried and failed to find him, you still need a court to validate your efforts and give the go-ahead for the sale. Otherwise, without his signature or a court order, you will not be able to transfer the title. 
On the facts you describe, you should be able to get such an order. You can even likely do so an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency") basis to get into court faster. But procedurally, this will be much more complex than, say, a small claims case. Do yourself a favor and hire an attorney to bring this for you. Good luck.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption