How to terminate a joint tenancy?

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How to terminate a joint tenancy?

My mother and uncle own a 3-family home in NYC as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship. Does she have options to terminate or revise this contract? My uncle has been unemployed for over 2 years and mentioned to my mother that he will no longer be able to pay his portion of the mortgage. He has expressed an interest in no longer keeping the home (he has always provided his portion as a tenant, never paying any home expenses or overseeing responsibility as joint owner). I live in the home paying rent as a tenant. My mother wants to continue to reside in the home, with no interest of selling. Can she revise the contract? Or can she can secretly convey her share to a third party (me), thus breaking up the joint tenancy to create tenancy in common?

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

david slater / david p.slater, esq.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

She can sell, but I doubt anyone will buy.  Her best option is to  bring an action for partition to compel a sale.


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