What’s a partition action and when might you need one?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2022 | Real Estate Disputes

Many people choose to own property together. This might be as a business venture, as personal property or even as siblings who were passed a property as an inheritance. This can make perfect sense at the time, but what happens when the relationship breaks down and parties can’t agree on what should happen to the property?

In this instance, co-owners can ask the court to intervene, settle the dispute and make a decision as to a fair way to solve the problem. 

A partition action helps co-owners divide their assets

The New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law sets down the provisions that allow co-owners to ask for the court’s assistance in selling or dividing their interest in a shared property. While it can be just two owners, it can also be multiple parties with competing interests. The common factor is that there must be a dispute over selling the property. 

These actions usually become necessary in circumstances where: 

  • Property has been passed down to siblings as part of an inheritance and one sibling wants to live there while the other wants to sell 
  • An unmarried couple buys a property together and then later chooses to separate. In these circumstances, a partition action is generally the only option available for settling a dispute
  • The original, agreed purpose for why the property was purchased no longer applies or the circumstances have changed 
  • There are multiple co-owners and the parties cannot reach an agreement on what should happen to the property. Co-owners may also decide that they simply no longer wish to own a property together anymore but cannot agree on what to do with it. 

Do you co-own a property where the other party won’t agree to sell up? You don’t need their permission to bring a partition action and ask the court to help you reach a fair conclusion.