Getting a Partition Action Done Right

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on February 6, 2014

The fact is this: you own land, so you have a right to do whatever you like with it! If you want to sell it, you can. If you want to build something on it, you can. There’s just one problem: that same right, that same freedom, also applies to a co-owner. And there we have a slight issue. If two or more individuals or entities own the same land, how do you figure out rights? Legally, you can’t do anything with the land you own if you own it with somebody else, unless….Real Estate

Unless you file a “partition action,” but it has to be done the right way. Aside from waivers, statutory limitations and laches, the policy under real estate law is that anyone in a court of law is allowed to divide property with a co-owner. It, in fact, makes perfect sense. The question is this: which divisions should you and your co-owner get? This is where real estate law comes in.

More often than not, there’s an agreement. In case a co-owner doesn’t want to divide the property, it goes to court, but understand this one important fact: the courts will favor a partition action and will literally order it regardless of how the other owner feels. However, know that the result doesn’t always favor the parties, even the party wanting the partition action in the first place.

Negotiation is always the best option. Let me rephrase: negotiation outside of the courtroom is the best option. Once there’s an agreement, an order is put in place to divide the properties however they should be divided, and then by real estate law, you – and the other party – are free to do whatever you like with your portion of the land. It makes it simple, doesn’t it?

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