If land is owned by several individuals and one wants to sell, canthe others be forced to sell?

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If land is owned by several individuals and one wants to sell, canthe others be forced to sell?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is a legal remedy known as "partition", which is an action available to joint owners of property 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 the property can be physically divided. 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 (although the co-owners would first be allowed to buy out the owner(s) who wanted to sell).

Since you mention land and not a house, quite possibly a division instead of a sale will be ordered. This of course assumes that the marketability of the land would not be compromised. For example, a single building lot could would not be divided.

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


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