What happens when a co-owner wnats the sell jointly held property but the other co-owner does not?

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What happens when a co-owner wnats the sell jointly held property but the other co-owner does not?

A lake house was given to me and 4 siblings. However, none of them used the place and never came around and never helped keep place up. They never even paid the taxes; they are being paid by our father. Over the past 10 years, my kids and I have done everything to keep it decent. I invested a lot of money to do so. Now all of a sudden, my siblings want to sell the place. What if I refuse to sign? I want to keep property as my mom said in her dying letter to us all to never sell the lake house.

Asked on August 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When co-owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters, an action in "partition" can be filed. Pursuant to such an action, if the property in question can be divided (as in the case of raw land), then a court will so instruct. However, if division is not possible (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be listed for sale to the general public but first any owner who wants to keep it will have the right to buy out the other owners for fair market value. If not, and the property is sold to a 3rd party, then the proceeds will be equitably divided. In your case, this means that you receive given your share, as well as any other money/labor that you contributed. As the laws regarding all of this vary from state-to-state, you should consult directly with a local attorney as to your rights.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When co-owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters, an action in "partition" can be filed. Pursuant to such an action, if the property in question can be divided (as in the case of raw land), then a court will so instruct. However, if division is not possible (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be listed for sale to the general public but first any owner who wants to keep it will have the right to buy out the other owners for fair market value. If not, and the property is sold to a 3rd party, then the proceeds will be equitably divided. In your case, this means that you receive given your share, as well as any other money/labor that you contributed. As the laws regarding all of this vary from state-to-state, you should consult directly with a local attorney as to your rights.


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