Can a co-owner force the sale of a house and, if so, is the other co-owner entitled to reimbursement for the money and time put they put into the property?

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a co-owner force the sale of a house and, if so, is the other co-owner entitled to reimbursement for the money and time put they put into the property?

My parents passed away 8 and 9 years ago, respectively. They had a house out of state and I’ve been taking care of it since then. I’ve made all tax payments and had performed all maintenance and repairs. I have traveled back and forth for the 3 hours to look after it with the thoughts of moving there next year. My sister was fine with that from the beginning and has never paid anything into the house, not a penny even when she would bring friends to party there for a weekend. Now she wants to sell out of the blue and states we need to split the proceeds euqally.

Asked on August 16, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  So I am assuming here that you and your sister are joint owners of the property as tenants in common perhaps? If your sister is an owner of the property and she wishes to force a sale then she can bring an action for partition which requests that the court split the jointly owned property in two.  With real property that usually results in the court ordering the ale of the property and split the proceeds - you can not split real property in two.  Now, if that does happen you have the ability to request that she reimburse you for the expenses to the house that were her responsibility: taxes are one of those costs.  General maintenance would also be included. Not a renovation to your liking that was not really a necessary repair, do you see? This gives you bargaining power and may allow you to be able to buy her out rather than sell the house.  Seek help from an attorney in your area.  Good luck. 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption