How can I get my ex-boyfriend to remove his belongings quicker to be able to put the house up for sale?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I get my ex-boyfriend to remove his belongings quicker to be able to put the house up for sale?

My ex and I never married. He owned land with a house, guest house, barn and 2 storage buildings. We decided to take out a loan but his name was the only one on the property. However, to take out the loan we quick deeded the property to me as well. Now, the house/land is in my name and his name but the mortgage loan is only in my name. He and I split up and I moved out over 6 months ago. He and I had a deal that the house would be up for sale by the beginning of

last month, then it was the middle of the month, then it was the middle of this month. The house is still full of his belongings and a lot of items in the yard and storage buildings and guest house, as well. Also, he is not even living there. I am unable to afford paying for 2 households so I am not able to get a place of my own. Is there any thing I can do to make him remove his belongings from the house and property so it can be put up for sale? He will not allow me to put it up for sale in the shape that it is currently in. Or is my better option to let it be foreclosed on? Also, I should mention that he does not have a job so he in unable to pay for anything at this time.

Asked on November 28, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the house is in is name as well as your name, he is an owner, regardless of whether or not he is on the mortgage, pays anything towards the mortgage, etc.--his presence on the deed or title is enough to make him an owner. If he is an owner, he has equal rights as you do to access, use, and possession--i.e. he can leave his belongings there. You may need to file a legal action (lawsuit) for "partition," which is a court order directing that the property be sold (and that the parties take steps to do so) and the proceeds (after paying off any mortgage/loan/etc., as well as the costs of sale) be split between the owners--that is how the law deals with the situation of two owners disagreeing as to what to do with the property. 
If you default on the loan, that will appear on your credit. Also, if the home has equity, you will likely realize less from the bank taking and selling it than if you sell it without defaulting (foreclosure sales are almost always for less); and if the property is currently "underwater," the lender could sue you personally for any unpaid balance on the property after selling it in foreclosure. You are best off dealing with this affirmatively, by seeking partition, rather than passively, by defaulting and waiting for foreclosure. Consult with  real estate attorney to explore the partition option.

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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