If I share a home/property with my siblings and they don’t pay the property taxes. Can I take the property from them?

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If I share a home/property with my siblings and they don’t pay the property taxes. Can I take the property from them?

My father left the house and property to my siblings and myself. My sister and brother live there but I do not. I have been paying the property taxes every year because they refuse to pay. Can I legally take possession of the house?

Asked on October 9, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, property cannot be taken by a joint owner due to other owners' failure to pay property taxes. That having been said, you do have the leg remedy of "partiton". In such an action, a court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not, as in the case of a single family house, then it will order what is known as a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equitably distributed. However, before being offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wants to buy out the other owner(s) can do so.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, property cannot be taken by a joint owner due to other owners' failure to pay property taxes. That having been said, you do have the leg remedy of "partiton". In such an action, a court will order that the property be divided, if possible. If not, as in the case of a single family house, then it will order what is known as a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be put on the market and sold for fair market value. The proceeds will then be equitably distributed. However, before being offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wants to buy out the other owner(s) can do so.


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