Many co-owners with a minority interest in a property assume they have minimal rights. Fortunately for minority co-owners of property, they have many rights.
Your Rights as a 33% Property Owner
When it comes to California partition law, a minority co-owner in California real estate has the right to force the sale through a partition action, to occupy the entire property, and to collect 33% of the net rental proceeds, among many other rights.
Can I Force the Sale if I Only Own 33%? Do I Need the Consent of All Co-Owners to Sell?
One of the biggest myths in co-ownership is that the consent of all co-owners is required to sell the property. The truth is that a skilled partition lawyer in California can put a prompt end to co-ownership on behalf of a co-owner regardless of their fractional ownership. There is no requirement that co-owners agree on the sale, nor any rule that majority controls. If there was, there would be no need for partition law to exist. Co-ownership is not a lifetime commitment, despite what some co-owners might want you to believe.
Right to Occupy the Entire Property as a 33% Co-Owner
Oftentimes, a co-owner in possession claims that they are entitled to full possession of the property. What’s more, a co-owner may assert that they can exclude the other co-owner(s) by claiming that they have lost their rights to the property by moving out, which is another myth among many co-owners.
In fact, the law is that: “Each tenant in common equally is entitled to share in the possession of the entire property and neither may exclude the other from any part of it.” Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal. 2d 541, 548 The same is true for 33% co-owner!
Another court explained that: “[T]he cotenants hold the common land by unity of possession, for which reason there can be no specific or determinate portion of the common land which any one of such tenants can claim as his in severalty.”Wood v. Henley (1928) 88 Cal.App. 441, 452
This means that one co-owner cannot exclude other co-owners from parts of the property, and that alleged informal agreements whereby one co-owner occupies one part of the property while another occupies another may not constitute a defense.
This is true even when a co-owner holds only 33% interest in the property.
Talkov Law's Partition Attorneys Can Help
If you want to end your co-ownership relationship, but your co-owner won’t agree, a partition action is your only option. With six, full time partition lawyers, Talkov Law is the #1 partition law firm in California and has handled 250 partition actions throughout California. Every case has resulted in a sale to either a third party or one of the co-owners. Not a single court has denied our clients the right to partition or declared our client to be a non-owner. Plus, for qualified cases, there is no fee until we settle or win your case!