In California, most people consider initiating a partition action when there is a disagreement between joint owners of a property or one co-owner is looking to end the co-ownership arrangement.
Disagreements About Selling the Property
The most common disagreement involves one owner requesting to sell their interest in a property, but the other shared owner(s) being unwilling to sell or unable to agree on a fair price.
Indeed, there are many ways to end up being a co-owner, through a joint purchase, inheritance, or gift. At the time you enter those relationships, perhaps all parties enjoy the co-ownership. However, that may not stay the same over time. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes grow apart, while siblings develop their own families. Even more, children who buy a home with their parents may end up developing their own family that wishes to live separately from the parents.
By contrast, the co-owner reluctant to sell may enjoy living in a house that they can’t afford if they had to buy out their co-owner’s equity. The idea that both parties will decide to part with the property at the same time is a myth, as it often turns out that one party enjoys the property while the other would prefer their equity.
Luckily for these co-owners, there is an absolute right to partition in California.
Differing Uses of the Property
A conflict on diverging interests may occur where joint owners disagree on the best use of the property. Perhaps one co-owner wants to raise the rent on a rental property, while the other has become sympathetic to the tenant. Or, perhaps one co-owner wishes to rent out a room in the co-owned property, while the co-owner in possession is not interested in having roommates.
Disagreements About Who Should Pay Expenses
Sometimes, one co-owner not in possession is fine with the other co-owner maintaining sole possession. Perhaps the house was inherited, and their sister cared for mom before she passed away. However, sometimes the co-owner in possession asks the co-owner out of possession to pitch in for shared expenses. This may tip off the co-owner out of possession that simply allowing the co-owner in possession to live at the property may be a bad idea, as they may be claiming offsets in a future partition for failure to contribute. It may be a wise idea to end the co-ownership relationship by filing a partition action.
Among the most common reasons for a partition action is that a romantic couple breaks up. Indeed, co-owning a house by an unmarried couple is very common in California. Just like married couples, those relationships don’t always last forever. When the relationship sours, one party often asks for an end to the co-ownership relationship while the other tries to keep the house. The party seeking to sell the property should contact a partition attorney to obtain their equity in the property so that they can move on.
Ending the Co-Ownership Relationship Through a Partition
If you have co-ownership of a property and your desire to use or sell the property conflicts with the other party, you may be entitled to a partition action. A partition action is the only way to solve co-ownership disputes for good.
It is very easy for joint ownership of real estate cause issues when co-owners simply have conflicting interests. Thus, a partition action is a tool to help you end a troubling relationship. If you have tried to negotiate with your co-owners, but they still refuse to compromise with your interests, then you should seek a partition action.
A partition action can be filed by any co-owner in property with joint ownership, no matter how large or small the interest of co-owner. Any property, including commercial property, residential property, vacant land, and even personal property that has multiple owners can be subject of a partition action.
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!