What are some legal rights I have when I own real estate with another person/business and we can’t agree on what to do with it?  

There are many circumstances in which people hold joint title to land.  Perhaps you and your friend purchased some hunting land years ago but now you want to sell it but he refuses to cooperate despite your requests to put it on the market. Or maybe you and your siblings inherited your grandfather’s old house yet no one can seemingly agree on what to do with it.  There is a lawsuit you can file designed for those situations in which two or more owners appear on the title/deed of the property and one party is seeking to force the force the sale or separation of their property.  It is called Involuntary Partition. 

Involuntary Partition:  The law suit in which joint owners of real estate can sever their interest in the land or force the sale of the property to recover their portion of the value. 


Once the lawsuit is initiated by one of the owners, the property is eventually appraised or examined by a set of qualified commissioners who then file a report with the court.  This report indicates whether the property is capable of being physically divided or if a sale is necessary to adequately compensate the owners for their respective interest in the property.  Whether the property is divided or sold, each owner is entitled to reimbursement for contributions made toward the property such as mortgage payments and real estate taxes.  The theory is that if one owner allowed to enjoy the equitable value or worth their share of the property then they should also share in the costs and expenses associated with it.  For example, if Jack and Jill each own 50% of the hill, then each of them are liable to pay 50% of the real estate taxes on it. So if Jack pays 100% of those taxes then upon the sale of the property at the conclusion of the partition suit, Jill would have to reimburse Jack for her portion of 50% of the real estate taxes via the sale proceeds. 

There are several facts that must be present in order for a party to bring forth a partition law suit. At Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC, our attorneys are experienced in real estate law and transactions. Our rates are reasonable and the cost of the legal work pales in comparison to the problems that could arise if the wrong type of legal action is used.
To schedule a consultation regarding your case please call the attorneys at Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC at (309) 699-4691. Our office is located on the 3rd floor of the GEM Terrace Building in East Peoria, IL.

Michael Fritz is a partner at Hall & Rustom, LLC and concentrates his law practice in Family law with great emphasis on Real Estate transactions, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and College Expenses.  He also concentrates in Estate Planning & Administration, and School Law.

If you have a legal question, email Michael Fritz.



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