Legal rights in selling a house

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Legal rights in selling a house

what is the law when two people not married
buy a house together and one wants to sell and
the other doesn’t want to?

Asked on January 22, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this the law provides a remedy known as "aprtition". This is a tool that is employed when co-owners of jointly held property (real/personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters. In a partition action, if a property can be equally divided, then a court will so instruct. However, where division is impractical (as with a single family home), then in that case the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". This means that the property will be sold and the proceeds equitably distributed between the owners. That having been said, before such a sale would be ordered, a co-owner would be given the right buy out of the other co-owner at fair market value. However, you should be aware that a partition action can be time consuming and costly so it is advisable for to try an work out an amicable agreement. 


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