I’m being Forced to Partition my Property, What can I do?

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“My partner and I recently purchased a home 6 months ago. We both put $43,500 down to make our payments low. I however paid the ($7,000) closing costs, and purchased all the appliances ($5000), put in a walkway ($2800) and a water filtration system ($700) along with approx ($3000) for misc things. The verbal agreement was that once they started their job or their deceased mothers property sold they would repay me half the money. They now wish to sell the property after 6 months and have left the state. They state that they will not repay me the money and that they will force me to partition the home and force me to hire a realtor to do so. I am not opposed to selling the home FSBO however I do not wish to pay a realtor thousands of dollars. Can they force me to sell using a realtor and what do I do about the money they said they would pay and now refuse. They claim that they had to pay federal taxes of 11,000 to get their money out of the 401K to put down on the house. I put an equal amount down but my money was not taken from a 401k however how does that have any bearing on anything?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

In general, co-owners always have the right to sue for partition. The procedure for partition by sale normally involves marketing the property through a real estate agent, so if no agreement were reached then yes, the court would probably order that the property be sold through an agent.

However, partition actions also consider any unequal payments by the co-owners, and you would be entitled to an offset or reimbursement for improvements to the property that only you paid for. The fact that your co-owner chose to use 401(k) money would probably not be a reimburseable expense, though it is difficult to say for certain without knowing all the facts.

In most cases, partition actions are relatively straightforward and therefore tend to settle, since both parties have a pretty good idea what would happen if they go to trial. However, you may wish to consult with an attorney to be sure that you get all the offsets you are entitled to.



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Author: House Attorney

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