If land is owned by several individuals and one wants to sell, canthe others be forced to sell?

UPDATED: Nov 1, 2011

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If land is owned by several individuals and one wants to sell, canthe others be forced to sell?

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is a legal remedy known as "partition", which is an action available to joint owners of property when they cannot agree as to whether or not to sell the property and/or other ownership matters. A partition allows for the division of property if the property can be physically divided. However, in a case where division would be impracticable (e.g. a single family house) a court would order a "sale in lieu of partition" and an equitable distribution of the proceeds among the owners would be made (although the co-owners would first be allowed to buy out the owner(s) who wanted to sell).

Since you mention land and not a house, quite possibly a division instead of a sale will be ordered. This of course assumes that the marketability of the land would not be compromised. For example, a single building lot could would not be divided.

At this point, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area.

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