What is the best course of action to settle a co-purchased property dispute?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the best course of action to settle a co-purchased property dispute?

I am currently a co-purchaser of a property that I would like to take my name off.
Due to a change of personal circumstances, only the other purchaser currently
occupies the property but has refused to buy out my portion of the equity when
previously asked. As of recent, he has informed me that he is willing to buy but
will not be able to do so until after New Years. New Link Destination
be sure that he follows
through and does not push things off for later dates, I intend on drawing up a
legal agreement documenting a deadline, agreed price and understanding of
actions I would take if he later backs out. My dilemma lies with what would my
actions have to be if he should back out, or refuse to even sign the document.

Asked on October 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) If he signs the agreement, it is a contract: you could sue him for "breach of contract" if he does not comply, seeking either a court order compelling him to go forward with the transaction or for some appropriate amount (e.g. related to losses or costs this causes you) of monetary compensation.
2) If he refuses to sign, you may bring what is traditionally called an action "for partition," though your state may have a different name for it. This is a legal action (lawsuit) brought in chancery court (a part of country court which deals with claims for something other than for money and/or what is known as "equitable" relief) in which you ask the court for an order compelling that the property be sold (in a court mandated or supervised sale) and the proceeds (after paying the cost of sale and paying off any mortgages, liens, etc.) be divided between the owners. This is the law's remedy when the co-owners of property cannot agree as to what to do with it: to order the sale, so they can each get their share of the value and go their separate ways. The lawsuit could be voluntarily settled or resolved by the other owner agreeing then to buy you out at a mutually agreed-upon price. This is a procedurally complex lawsuit, compared to those (e.g. small claims cases) typically brought by non-lawyers; you would be strongly advised to retain an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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