What to do if my sister and I own land together but she has not paid her half of taxes and electric bills for the past few years?

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What to do if my sister and I own land together but she has not paid her half of taxes and electric bills for the past few years?

Do I have legal standing to take over total ownership of the land?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your sister and you are joint owners of the parcel you have written about and she has not paid her share of the property taxes and utility bills where you presumably have paid her portion, then under the laws of all states in this country you have an equitable lien as to your sister's share of the property that you jointly own together for what you have advanced.

Your option is to record such on the parcel for the dollar amount advanced or file a legal action against her for payment of what is owed if she will not willingly pay you what she owes you. Such in and of itself does not give you legal standing to take over her ownership interest in the property.


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