How to evict a co-owner of a house?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2012

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How to evict a co-owner of a house?

8 siblings own an undivided interest in their family home; 1 siblings has moved into the home. What are our legal rights to evict him from the home and can the home be sold if not all 8 siblings agree?

Asked on February 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

All legal owners of of real estate have rights to it. In the case of a residential dwelling, that means that all parties holding title have the right to reside in it. However, you still have legal recourse in such a situation.

When co-owners of property cannot agree as to ownership matters, there is a judicial remedy called "partition" which can be enlisted. In a partition action, a suit is filed to determine all of the owners' rights/responsibilities. The court can order that the property be equally divided, to the extent practical. However, in the case of a  single family house, the court can order something called a "sale in lieu of partition". Pursuant to this, the property is put up for sale and at such time as it sold, the proceeds are distributed equitably among the parties.

Note: Prior to a sale, the court will first give the owner who wants to keep the property the right to buy out the other owner(s) for fair market value. 

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, under the laws of all state sin this country, unless there is a written contract to the contrary, all owners of real property have the right to reside within it. The problem that you have is a buyout or partition situation with respect to the one sibling that moved into the family home. You cannot legally evict him or her from it due to the joint ownerhip issues.

I recommend that you consult further with a real estate attorney as to how to possibly have a buy out of the assorted family interests in this family home.

To sell the home if not all owners agree would require the filing of a partition action in state court and an order from the court that the home needs to be sold.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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