If there are two owner of a home (3 family), can one person force the sale of a house in Mass.

Asked over 1 year ago - Holden, MA

My Mom has lived in her home for 65 years, her borhter-in-law who owned the other half passed away and left it to a person who wants to sell. Can she force my Mom to sell the house and leave the home she has lived in for 65 years?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. E. Alexandra Golden

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . The other co-owner can go into either Probate or Land Court and file a Petition to Partition. This action will lead to a court order to sell the property.

    Generally, the easiest way to avoid this outcome is to work out a deal with the other co-owner which will either have the effect of delaying the sale until your mother moves out or dies or to have your mother buy out the co-owner. Your mother should meet with a real estate attorney right away and explore her options.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are... more
  2. Emma A. Kremer

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . Assuming the other person now legally owns the property with your mother as tenants in common, meaning they each own a one half interest in the property, this other person can only sell what he or she owns- half the interest in the property. Your mother would then own the property with the buyer. Generally speaking, a buyer would not want to buy only a half interest and this other person may take your mother to court to try and force a sale. You should advise your mother to consult an attorney as soon as possible to determine how the property is owned and what rights or remedies she may have. Another option is for your mother to buy the other half interest and then she would own the property outright. Best of luck.

    Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.)... more
  3. Christopher W. Vaughn-Martel

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . Thank you for your question.

    The answer is that any co-owner can force the sale of the home, known as a partition action. As Attorney Golden points out, it is often better for the parties to come to some agreement and negotiate a sale or buyout. Our office represents owners throughout Massachusetts in property disputes and partitions.

    Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts.... more
  4. Michael T Millar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While the other owner cannot force your mother to sell, the other owner can go to court and seek a court order requiring the sale of the property. This is known as a partition action.

    If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education... more

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