Civil Code § 843 – Concurrent ownership; Ouster; Procedure; Damages (Partition Action)

California Civil Code 843 is the California partition statute that addresses concurrent ownership, ouster, and damages related thereto in a partition action. The statute provides that:

(a) If real property is owned concurrently by two or more persons, a tenant out of possession may establish an ouster from possession by a tenant in possession in the manner provided in this section. This section does not apply to the extent the tenant out of possession is not entitled to possession or an alternative remedy is provided under the terms of an agreement between the cotenants or the instrument creating the cotenancy or another written instrument that indicates the possessory rights or remedies of the cotenants. This section supplements and does not limit any other means by which an ouster may be established.

(b) A tenant out of possession may serve on a tenant in possession a written demand for concurrent possession of the property. The written demand shall make specific reference to this section and to the time within which concurrent possession must be offered under this section. Service of the written demand shall be made in the same manner as service of summons in a civil action. An ouster is established 60 days after service is complete if, within that time, the tenant in possession does not offer and provide unconditional concurrent possession of the property to the tenant out of possession.

(c) A claim for damages for an ouster established pursuant to this section may be asserted by an independent action or in an action for possession or partition of the property or another appropriate action or proceeding, subject to any applicable statute of limitation.

(d) Nothing in this section precludes the cotenants, at any time before or after a demand is served, from seeking partition of the property or from making an agreement as to the right of possession among the cotenants, the payment of reasonable rental value in lieu of possession, or any other terms that may be appropriate.

California Civil Code § 843

“An ouster, in the law of tenancy in common, is the wrongful dispossession or exclusion by one tenant of his cotenant or cotenants from the common property of which they are entitled to possession.”[1]Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal. 2d 541, 548; accord Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Ct. (2011) 198 Cal.App. 4th 1122, 1128, as modified on denial of reh’g (Sept. 28, 2011) … Continue reading

“Ouster” is shorthand for a “cotenant’s unambiguous conduct that manifest[s] an intent to exclude another cotenant from gaining or sharing possession of jointly owned property”[2]Estate of Hughes (1992) 5 Cal.App. 4th 1607, or that “bring[s] home or impart[s] notice to the tenant out of possession, by acts of ownership of the most open, notorious, and unequivocal character, that [she] intends to oust the latter of his interest in the common property.”[3]Preciado v. Wilde (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 321, 322, 325; Johns v. Scobie (1939) 12 Cal.2d 618, 623–624 Ouster may be effected through “a diversity of methods”[4]Carpentier v. Webster (1865) 27 Cal. 524, 561–563, ranging from invoking the statutory notice procedure for ouster[5]California Civil Code § 843 to “claiming the whole for himself, denying the title of his companion, or refusing to permit him to enter.”[6]Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Court (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1122, 1128 (quoting Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal.2d 541, 548

Law Revision Commission Comments to California Civil Code § 843

In 1984, the California Law Revision Commission explained California Civil Code § 843 as follows:

Section 843 provides a procedure by which a tenant out of possession of property may establish an ouster and recover damages, without the need to show that the tenant in possession has forcibly excluded or prevented use of the property by the tenant out of possession. Cf. Brunscher v. Reagh, 164 Cal.App.2d 174, 330 P.2d 396 (1958); De Harlan v. Harlan, 74 Cal.App.2d 555, 168 P.2d 985 (1946) (forcible exclusion or prevention of use). One cotenant ousted by another is entitled to recover damages resulting from the ouster, which ordinarily amounts to a proportionate share of the value of the use and occupation of the land from the time of the ouster. Zaslow v. Kroenert, 29 Cal.2d 541, 176 P.2d 1 (1946). Nothing in this section changes the general law governing damages, defenses, and offsets in the case of an ouster. Establishment of an ouster under this section may also mark the beginning of the period required for the tenant in possession to establish title by adverse possession against the tenant out of possession. It should be noted that the provisions of this section are inapplicable to the extent the possessory rights and remedies of the cotenants are governed by a cotenancy agreement or other applicable instrument. [17 Cal.L.Rev.Comm. Reports 1023 (1984)].

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 seven, full time partition lawyers, Talkov Law is the #1 partition law firm in California and has handled over 300 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!

If you're looking to end your co-ownership dispute, contact California's premier partition action law firm by calling Talkov Law at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or sending us a message today.


1 Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal. 2d 541, 548; accord Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Ct. (2011) 198 Cal.App. 4th 1122, 1128, as modified on denial of reh’g (Sept. 28, 2011) (quoting Estate of Hughes (1992) 5 Cal.App. 4th 1607)
2 Estate of Hughes (1992) 5 Cal.App. 4th 1607
3 Preciado v. Wilde (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 321, 322, 325; Johns v. Scobie (1939) 12 Cal.2d 618, 623–624
4 Carpentier v. Webster (1865) 27 Cal. 524, 561–563
5 California Civil Code § 843
6 Hacienda Ranch Homes, Inc. v. Superior Court (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 1122, 1128 (quoting Zaslow v. Kroenert (1946) 29 Cal.2d 541, 548
Attorney Colleen Sparks
About Colleen Talkov

Colleen Talkov is a Partition Attorney at Talkov Law in California. She can be reached at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or

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