What rights do I have regarding jointly owned property?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What rights do I have regarding jointly owned property?

We bought a property with friends. They paid cash for half and took out a loan for the other half. The loan is in their name. Our arrangement is that we pay them for the loan payment and we split the costs on all common expenses. We do not have a signed written contract. Can they buy us out by paying us the investments we have made, can they just tell us to leave, can they sell the property and not divide the sale equally?

Asked on October 1, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are on the title to the property, you are owners. Co-owners cannot take away your ownership interest, unless you'd have a written agreement with them allowing them to do so under certain circumstances (which you do not) even if they pay more than you. The cannot make leave the property you co-own. The also cannot sell without your consent or agreement without bringing a kind of lawsuit called an "action for partition" and getting a court order for the sale--but if they do, the proceeds of the sale will be split according to your respective ownership interests or percentages.
The loan being in their name does not give them more ownership or power than you--it just means that the bank can only sue them, not you, if the loan is not paid.

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