Real Estate Dispute: What happens if co-owners of real property disagree? | Partition of Real Estate
Sometimes co-owners of real property disagree as to what should become of the property. In other instances family members inherit a house or property as co-owners and a dispute ensues. This can become particularly troublesome for the owners, who usually just want to part ways with the other owner. Hopefully, the co-owners can come to a voluntary agreement regarding the property. This is the most peaceful way of settling the dispute. However, this does not always happen. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, a judge can order a partition of the property. There are two types of partitions that a judge may order: partition in kind and partition by sale.
Partition in Kind of Real Estate
A partition in kind is where the judge orders a physical division of the property. The judge will order a partition in kind if it is in the best interests of all parties. This method is usually used for large pieces of land that can be evenly divided. The court must be convinced that the partition is equitable (fair to all sides). It is not the most likely outcome where the co-owners are in dispute over a building.
Partition of Real Estate by Sale (forced sale)
A partition by sale is where the judge orders the property sold and the proceeds are divided among the co-owners. A judge is more likely to order a partition by sale if the property is not easily divided. The biggest downside to a partition by sale is that there is a forced sale. I have seen instances where there is a partition by sale and the co-owners lose money due to a poor housing market.
NOTICE: The above information is general in nature, and is offered to increase public knowledge and awareness. It is not designed to provide advice on specific case situations. Contact Ryan C. Young to explain your unique situation.
Ryan C. Young | Real Estate Attorney | Richmond, Virginia