If 3 out of 4 co-owners of a house want it sold but the 4th, who has been living there, does not is there a paper that can be served on them to make them get out?

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If 3 out of 4 co-owners of a house want it sold but the 4th, who has been living there, does not is there a paper that can be served on them to make them get out?

My father owned 2 houses when died 8 years ago. I moved out of 1 but my sister won’t move out of the other house, pay rent or buy out my 2 bothers and I. What can we do to get her out? Is there a paper that we can get from court or police to make her leave?

Asked on August 12, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

When joint owners cannot agree as to ownership matters, the law provides a remedy called "partition". In such an action, a judge will order that the property, if possible, be divided. If not possible, such as in the case of a house, then it will order what is known as a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be distributed equitably. First, however, before being offered to any 3rd parties, any owner who wants to buy out the other owner(s) can do so (again for fair market value).


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