Can an co-owner refuse to sell the property?

UPDATED: Sep 25, 2011

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Can an co-owner refuse to sell the property?

My mother died intestate 5 years ago. My sister received a summary judgement to claim her 1/3 interest in the property. The judge is supposed to assign 3 referees each representing my 2 sisters and I (in 3 months). If I don’t agree on the selling price can I refuse to sell my share? What would happen if I refuse to vacate the premises? I’ve lived there for 17 years. The recent appraisal of the property is $5,000 less than what was paid for it 19 years ago. I’ve invested thousands of dollars on improvements and general upkeep. The quitclaim deed is in my name with the title administrator.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have been awarded a fractionalized interest in a piece of real property in an intestacy proceeding where your two other siblings might want to sell the parcel that you have an interest in where you do not want to sell, a partition action could be brought against you by your other two siblings to sell the parcel.

You cannot be forced to sell the property absent a partition action and a court decision on the subject.

In a partition action, people owning fractionalized interests in a property ask the court to order its sale to the public at large where it is listed on the open market initially for a specific selling price monitored by the court.

In such a situation, one of the co-owners during the partition process can attempt to purchase the other owner's fractionalized interests in the property.


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