What to do with inherited real estate if 1 of the co-owners wants to sell?

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What to do with inherited real estate if 1 of the co-owners wants to sell?

Mom passed 2004; Dad passed 2006; no Will. Property now worth about $300,000 is paid off. 9 surviving siblings won’t meet/agree on selling property because 1 sister is living in it and won’t fix the place up. The other siblings are afraid they won’t make any money out of it. They won’t speak to me because I am “stirring the pot.” I want them to either collect rent and fix up property or sell. Am I on the right track or should I let this go? It’s not about the money but about doing what’s right for all of us.

Asked on August 5, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you want to sell you have the right to pursue an action for "partition". This is a legal remedy available to joint property owners when they cannot agree as to whether or not to sell the property.  Such an action allows for the division the property. If it can be physically divided a court will so order; if division would be impracticable (as in the instance of a single family house - your case) a judge would order a "sale in lieu of partition" and an equitable division of the proceeds among all of the owners.  However, before doing so the court would permit 1 co-owner to purchase the interest of the remaining co-owner(s) at fair market value.


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