Co-owner filed a partition of property? Here’s what you can do

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Real Estate Disputes

Many New Yorkers co-own property with another individual or group. Often, these co-owners are able to agree on the use and maintenance of the property. However, disagreements can arise, leading one co-owner to consider legal action to divide the property. This is known as a partition action.

Legal actions like this can help both parties resolve their disputes when they can’t reach a consensus on the property’s management. It can result in property division among the co-owners or the sale of the property and the division of the proceeds.

How to protect your interests

When your co-owner starts a partition action, it can be quite overwhelming. You might feel like you’re losing control over a property where you’ve invested time and money. But fortunately, you have options.

First, you can contest the partition action. You might be able to argue against the partition, depending on your case. You could dispute the other co-owner’s right to force a partition or say that the proposed method of partition is unfair. As for the latter, arguing against the petition would need to be based on various grounds, including:

  1. Dividing the property isn’t possible without losing its value or utility.
  2. The petitioning co-owner has acted in bad faith, refusing reasonable buyout offers or forcing a sale under unfavorable conditions.
  3. A co-owner’s actions or negligence have negatively impacted the property’s value.

If these grounds don’t seem applicable to your situation, you can try the second method: negotiation. Choosing this option would mean avoiding legal action by finding a compromise with your co-owner. You will need to negotiate a deal where you or your co-owner buys out the other’s interest or comes to an agreement on a plan for the use or sale of the property.

Choosing the first option

If the disagreement seems likely to result in court proceedings, you need to prepare for the legal process. A court needs to see evidence that supports your position. This could be property deeds, written agreements between co-owners or other documents related to the dispute. You also have to understand that a court may side with you or the other party, which may mean you’ll either maintain your share of the property, be forced to sell your share or even buy out the other party’s share.

In these situations, consider consulting with a lawyer. They can help protect your interests in the property.