If 4 of 5 people that inherit a property do not want to sell, is there anything they can do?

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If 4 of 5 people that inherit a property do not want to sell, is there anything they can do?

Asked on November 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Possibly. There exists in the law a remedy known as "partition". This is an action available to joint property owners when they cannot agree as to whether or not to sell the property (and/or other ownership matters). A partition allows for the division of property if it can be physically divided (e.g. as in the case of raw land). However, in a case where division would be impracticable (e.g. a single family house) a court would order a "sale in lieu of partition" and an equitable distribution of the proceeds among the owners would be made. However, and this goes to the heart of your question, the co-owners would first be allowed to buy out the owner who wanted to sell. The sales price would be based in the then existing fair market value.

At this point, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area.


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