Moving into co-owned home with co owner

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Moving into co-owned home with co owner

If I co-own a home that I lived in my entire life which was left to me by my mother who passed away. The house was left to her and my uncle by their parents which was then handed down to my cousin and I.The house is in both names. Can I legally move into the home if the other owner currently lives there too? My mother and I lived in the home for 20years together and I lived there for 2 years after she passed. I went into the service and my cousin moved into the house while I was gone. Can my family and I go back home?

Asked on August 7, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You do legally have the same right to possession as the co-owner has; that is, the same right to enter, live in, etc. the home. But as a practical matter, if this home is not set up for more than one family to live there at the same time, you most likely can't do this, since you'd have no right to, for example, move his possessions out to make room for your possessions and family (neither owner can discard or move out the other owner's possessions). Also, living with your cousin, even if there is room to do it, may be very difficult if his hours, lifestyle, etc. is different from yours and there is insufficient separation.
Your better option may be to force the sale of the home, split the proceeds with cousin, then lease or buy your own home which is yours 100%--no need to share with or accommodate someone else. When the joint owners of real estate are in a dispute over the property, the law lets one of them bring an action "for partition" to get a court order mandating the sale of the home. You should consult with a real estate atttorney about this option, to understand its process, costs, and pros and cons.

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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