In California real estate, partitioning a property refers to the legal process of equitably dividing or splitting a jointly owned property among its co-owners. This division is typically pursued when there are disputes, disagreements, or conflicting interests among the co-owners about how the property should be used, managed, or disposed of.
Partition actions are often used to settle disputes among co-owners when they cannot come to an agreement on the property’s future. Essentially, anyone who no longer wishes to co-own property can file a partition action to end the co-ownership relationship.
There are four manners of partitions under California law as follows:
- Partition by Sale: When a property cannot be easily divided without losing its value or functionality, it may be ordered to be sold, and the proceeds from the sale are then distributed among the co-owners according to their ownership shares. This is often the case for single-family homes or other properties that cannot be divided without losing their utility or value.
- Partition in Kind: In this type of partition, the property is physically divided among the co-owners. Each co-owner is given a specific portion or share of the property. For example, in the case of a residential property, one portion may go to one co-owner, and another portion to another co-owner. Partition in kind is more common for properties that can be easily divided, such as vacant land or buildings with multiple units.
- Partition by Appraisal: Rarely used, this method allows a court to oversee an appraisal being obtained by a partition referee, followed by a hearing on valuation. As a practical matter, the statutory partition by appraisal is almost never used because it requires the agreement of the parties to use the method, to the referee, and to who will be the buyer of the property. If parties can agree on those topics, they probably don’t need a court to oversee the process.
- Partition of Real Property Act Appraised Buyout: Effective January 1, 2023, California is the first state to allow properties to be purchased by co-owners in every partition action based on judicially overseen process of appraising the property. Unlike the statutory partition by appraisal, discussed above, the new Partition of Real Property Act does not require the consent of the other co-owners. This new law has many techniques that can be used by skilled partition attorneys. Indeed, the concept of appraisals being relevant to the court is a new under partition law.
By way of these methods, the partition will end the co-ownership relationship.
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!