If 2 brothers own a building but 1 brother doesn’t pay his share of property taxes, can property be split?

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2012

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If 2 brothers own a building but 1 brother doesn’t pay his share of property taxes, can property be split?

My dad and uncle own a small strip center. My dad owns a convenient store 100% and 50% of the building. My uncle ownes 50% of building and is taking the rent from the tenants we have and doesn’t pay his part of property taxes. My dad is struggling and don’t know what to do. I’m wondering, can we kick him out or can we split the property so they own their own part and pay own taxes?

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Business Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the situation that you have written about where your father is paying more than his fair share of the property taxes, the uncle owes your father the excess amount paid plus accrued interest.

As such, your father has an equitable lien on the property as to your uncle's interest in the property. Depending upon the amount owed, your father can sue the uncle is small claims court for this amount on a yearly basis as it becomes due and your father pays the full amount and not the uncle.

Rather than doing that and where a "kick out" is simply not an option from a legal standpoint, I suggest that your father consult with a business attorney to draw up a partnership agreement to be signed by the uncle and your father as to how the costs and other expenses are to be taken care of and this agreement then becomes the road map for taking care of the business issues with your father and uncle.

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