Two of my siblings are selling their portion of the property to my third sibling. Therefore, I will own 1/4 of the property. I know that I will have to pay my portion of the insurance, property taxes, normal upkeep and utilities. However, can my third sibling that will own 3/4 of the property force me to pay for repairs, upgrades or anything else for the property that I do not agree with being that I will only own 1/4 share of the property??
Elder Law Attorney
The prior answer is correct. Unfortunately, these situations are common and can lead to a lot of problems between family members. I strongly advise my clients to give careful consideration to whether their children will really cooperate if they jointly inherit ownership of land. What you have become in legal terms is a "co-tenant" with the 3/4 owner. In addition to the problems you are already confronting, you will find that co-tenants have an "undivided" interest in the property and equal rights to make use of the property. That could work both ways. You could decide that you want to use the property all of the time, regardless of the fact that the sibling owns a 3/4 share or the sibling could decide to use the property all of the time and disregard the fact that you own a 1/4 share. Legally neither of you can "oust" or eject the other without filing a partition lawsuit or coming to some kind of mutual agreement. A partition suit (court ordered sale or division of the property) is often expensive and obviously wouldn't be likely to help your relationship with this sibling. I would recommend that you see if the two of you can either work out an arrangement to share decision making, share time at the property, share rent, whatever OR that you strongly consider selling out your interest in the property. Your sibling ought to want to own the entire property from the perspective of making it easier to manage in all respects, including taxes and insurance. I wish you the best of luck with this situation.
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Family Law Attorney
Necessary repairs, yes. Upgrades, no- not without your permission.
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I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that you may want to have your sibling purchase YOUR share, as well.
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