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How to Force a Sale When Other People Share Ownership of the House

Co-owning a house in Palm Beach County with others can result from an inheritance. For example, parents may include in their wills that after both of them pass away, the family home is go to their 3 children. Many parents view leaving what might be the most valuable asset in the estate to all children in equal shares as the easiest and fairest way to handle their estate. However, the parents may not anticipate the disputes that might develop among the children over what to do with the house. For example, one child may wish to sell the house. They may want cash for their share of this valuable asset and use the cash for paying bills or purchasing their own house. Another child may want to live in the house. The third child may want to keep the house and rent it, resulting in all of them receiving income. For the child who wants to sell, the situation may lead to the question of how to force a sale when other people share ownership of the house. If you would like to sell your interest in property and your co-owners do not, contact the experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over seven decades of combined experience representing clients in complex estate matters, we can help you dispose of your interest in the property you co-own.

Negotiating a Buyout

Instead of forcing the other owners of the house to sell when they have made it clear that they wish to keep the house, you can offer to sell them your interest in the house. For the right price, they may be willing to purchase your interest. Note that when negotiating a buyout, you must consider whether the co-owners have the ability to buy you out and whether the property is mortgaged.

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Getting the Court to Force a Sale

If negotiating a buyout does not work, you can go to court to force a sale when other people share ownership of a house. Under Florida law, any co-owner of a property can initiate an action for partition that would result in the court either dividing the property or selling the property. To initiate an action for partition, contact an experienced Palm Beach County partition lawyer who can file the complaint with the appropriate court and represent you during the proceedings.

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Partition in Kind

As a result of a partition litigation, the court may issue an order to partition in kind. Partition in kind means the division of property into physically distinct and separately titled parcels. Once the parties have their separately titled parcels, they can sell it if they choose to. The court will only partition in kind if doing so would not prejudice the owners. The court will take into consideration many factors including the nature of the property, how the owners are currently using the property and how long they have owned the property. FL Stat § 64.209

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Partition in Sale

The second type of partition is partition in sale. It is the only way to actually force a sale when other people share ownership of a house. As an experienced partition attorney serving Palm Beach County will explain, partition in kind is typically not practical when the property is a house. Sale is the only option. The court will determine the value of the property and order it to be sold through an open-market sale, sealed bids, or public auction. The proceeds less mortgage payoff and expenses will be distributed to the former co-owners.

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Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have a house in the Palm Beach County, Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami area and would like to understand how to force a sale when other people share ownership of the house, contact an experienced partition attorney in Palm Beach County at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can represent you in an action for partition that will result in the property being disposed of and your co-owning relationship ending. Note that an action for partition can be brought with respect to commercial property as well as residential property. It can be brought during estate administration proceedings or outside of such proceedings. Contact us at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients throughout the following areas: Palm Beach County, Dale County, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.