If my siblings want to sell the house that I have been living in for 15 years and all of our names are on the deed, can I stay in the home or do I have to go into battle with my siblings to stay?

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If my siblings want to sell the house that I have been living in for 15 years and all of our names are on the deed, can I stay in the home or do I have to go into battle with my siblings to stay?

It was our parents’ home. I do not want to sell the house until I retire which is in 3 years.

Asked on July 1, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately for you, your siblings can force a sale. They can file what is called a "partition" action. Basically, when co-owners of property cannot agree as to ownership matters, a suit can be filed in civil court. A judge will then either order a an equitable division of the property or a sale (in your case since the property is question is a single family house, division would be impractical, so a sale will be ordered). However, before the house is sold to a third party, it will first be offered to you. If you can afford to pay fair market value, it's yours.

The fact is that you cannot prevent a sale. However, since a suit will have to be filed, this will take both time and money. So I would encourge you to go back to your siblings naand explain this to them. Possibly you can come to some type of agreement without having to resort to a lawsuit.


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