As a co-owner of property with a sibling, how can I sell the property or get any use equity from my half share of ownership?

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As a co-owner of property with a sibling, how can I sell the property or get any use equity from my half share of ownership?

I am the owner of a house with a sibling each with equal ownership and survivorship rights. The house is occupied by a third person who is not paying rent. How can I get that person out if sibling won’t agree and can I sell my interest to another party?

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

So long as at least 1 owner of a property allows a tenant/guest to remain, the other owner cannot evict them. That having been said you still have a legal remedy; it is called "parition". This is an action available when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownershi matters. In such an action, the court will order that the property be divided, if feasible. If not, then it will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Pursuant to this, the property will be sold and the proceeds equitably split between the owners. That haing been said, first however, any owner who wishes to keep the property has the right to buy out the other owner(s) for fair market value.


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