The three issues that could trigger a partition action

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes

Owning a property jointly can be advantageous, but it sometimes brings its own set of challenges. It is not rare for disputes to arise between co-owners. When they do, the best way forward is often trying to compromise. All parties could find a middle ground that respects the rights and interests of all co-owners. However, there may be situations when reaching a mutual agreement proves difficult. In such instances, one party can invoke a legal action known as a partition action.

Moving beyond compromise and considering legalities

A partition action is a legal remedy where a co-owner seeks the court’s intervention to forcibly divide the property or its sale proceeds among the co-owners when they cannot reach an agreement. This step is a serious move. It is typically used as a last resort after all efforts to find a mutually agreeable solution have been exhausted.

It is a legal way for co-owners to protect their interests when disputes become irreconcilable.

Several situations can trigger a partition action, including:

  1. Change in personal circumstances: An owner’s needs or priorities might change due to personal reasons, such as job relocation. If the other owner(s) are unwilling or able to sell the property or buy the relocating owner’s share, the relocating party could initiate a partition action to facilitate the property’s sale.
  2. Non-payment of property-related expenses: A co-owner might occasionally fail to pay their share of costs like taxes, insurance or maintenance, which can financially strain the other owner(s). If the non-paying owner refuses to pay, the other owner(s) can initiate a partition action to force a property sale or ensure the non-paying owner fulfills their obligations.
  3. Disagreement on property management: Co-owners might disagree on how to manage a rental property. One might want professional management, while the other prefers a hands-on approach to save on expenses. Such differences can lead to conflicts and potentially trigger a partition action.

When disputes escalate, and discussions fail, a partition action enables a co-owner to seek the court’s help in facilitating the management of the property regarding the dispute. Notably, a partition action does not require the consent of all co-owners. So, if arguments spiral out of control, any co-owner can take this step, bringing the court into the picture to aim for a fair resolution. Understanding this legal option is crucial in navigating the sometimes tricky landscape of co-ownership.