If I own 1/2 of a fourplex and I am ready to sell and the other 1/2 is not ready to buy me out, what are the options? 3 Answers as of September 26, 2014

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Janke Legal Consulting | Bruce C. Janke
It depends on the legal form of the ownership. The deed probably says that you and the other owner hold title as "tenants in common." In that case, either co-owner can sell his/her interest in the property or leave it to his heirs upon his death. On the other hand, if the deed says that you and the other owner hold title as "joint tenants," this means that upon the death of any owner, the surviving owners acquire the deceased owner's interest in equal shares. So, if there are three joint tenants and one dies, the two surviving owners now each own a one-half interest in the property. A joint tenant can sell his ownership share to a third party, but this destroys the joint tenancy and converts it into a tenancy in common among the other original owner and the buyer. The problem, of course, is finding a buyer who is willing to take partial ownership along with one or more strangers. The alternative is for you to commence a proceeding against the other owner in the Superior Court in the county in which the property is located by filing a Petition for Partition. You don't have to prove any good reason; you are entitled to the partition as a matter of right. In your case, if the parties cannot agree on what to do with the property, the court will order it to be sold and the net proceeds divided equally among the co-owners (or according to their respective percentage of ownership in the property). With a little help, you might be able to handle this yourself, but it would be much easier and quicker to hire an attorney. It could be that as soon as you serve the Petition and Summons on your co-owner, he will agree to sell rather than fight the lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/26/2014
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
Your only option would to force a sale through a lawsuit in the Superior Court. They would work. It may also nudge the other owner to settle by agreeing to a sale.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/26/2014
Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
You can force the sale from by an action in partition.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/26/2014
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