There are several ways you might jointly own a piece of real estate with one or more co-owners. Maybe you and your siblings inherited the property from your parents. Or you joined a group of investors to buy the property.
Whatever the arrangement or motivations, you probably never intended for a conflict to arise between the co-owners. But when money is at stake, serious disagreements over real estate are always possible. So too when emotions around the family home or other sentimental piece of property affect the argument.
How partition works in Florida
Thus, when one joint owner wants to sell and the other does not, the dispute could end up in court as a partition action. This is a lawsuit filed by a joint owner asking the court to force their co-owners to buy out their share. In Florida, there are two main types of partition actions that a joint owner can seek:
- Partition by appraisal. Often, these disputes are not over whether to sell but at what price. A partition by appraisal establishes the property’s fair market value so both sides will know what buyout the plaintiff would likely accept.
- Partition by sale. If you and your co-owners won’t even agree to the idea of a buyout, a partition by sale might be necessary to break the deadlock. If the plaintiff prevails, the court will force the other owners to do the buyout.
Disputes over real property can be sensitive if they are between family members. A partition action is the last resort for many people. At the same time, no owner should be unable to exercise their right to sell their property because of co-owner disagreements. If you are in this situation, learning your rights and legal options from an attorney can help you decide what to do next.