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Can I Sell My Half of a House When There Is a Co-Owner

During the estate administration process, it is not uncommon for people to learn that they inherited a house or other real estate. It is also not uncommon for people to learn that they now own a house with other people. Parents often leave the family home to all of their children as tenants in common. While this is a practical way to make sure that each child is treated the same, it may lead to conflict among the new co-owners of the house. The siblings may disagree on several aspects of the property including whether to keep it or sell it. Ultimately one sibling may decide that they want to sell their interest in the house. If you co-own a house in the Palm Beach County area and would like to sell your half, contact an experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyer Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 7 decades of combined experience, we can help you sell your half of a house when there is a co-owner.

Action for Partition

When co-owners can’t agree on what do with property, the best choice may be to sever their co-owning relationship. Under Florida law, an owner can sell their half of a house when there is a co-owner. To do that, they can file a complaint with the court in the county in which the property is located and initiate an action for partition.

Under FL Stat § 64.011 et seq. the court determines the interests of each party involved—the petitioner as well as defendants, and issue a judgement that the property will be divided or that the property will be sold. If the property is divided, each owner will be left with their own, individually owned parcel of what was once the co-owned property. They will then be free to dispose of the property any way that choose without having to seek the permission of a co-owner. This option is known as partition or partition in kind and is only available if the property is deemed divisible.

Typically, property that is divisible includes farmland, vacant lots, or other unimproved property. This type of property can usually be divided up into 2 or more fairly equal parts. Division may not be practical with such property if there are several co-owners because the individual parcels would be less valuable individually owned than as a whole. To discuss whether your property is divisible, contact an experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyer.

Houses are not likely to be deemed divisible as it is not practical for a single family home to be fairly divided among 2 or more people. For property that cannot be divided, the court will issue an order to sell the property. The property will be sold to the highest bidder at a public auction. The owners of the property will receive the proceeds of the sale, less expenses and fees. Each owner will receive a share of the proceeds according to their interest in the property.

Avoiding an Action for Partition

As an experienced estate attorney in Palm Beach County will explain, while an action for partition is an effective strategy for resolving conflicts among co-owners, there are other options that do not require litigation. Settling the matter out-of-court by negotiating a buyout is another option. The owner who wants to sell their half of the house can offer to sell it to the owner who wants to keep the property. If they can agree on a price and if the buyer has the ability to pay for the buyout, litigation can be avoided.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

In Florida, an owner of a house can sell their half of a house when there is a co-owner through a partition action filed. Note that whether the sale is completed in court through an action for partition or out of court, it would be subject to any mortgages or other liens on the property. To discuss your options, contact an experienced partition attorney in Palm Beach County at the Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC. Contact us at 561-710-4000 for a free no obligation consultation. We represent clients in Palm Beach County, Dale County, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.