My brother and I inherited a condo in florida, I live in NY and don't know where is my brother. I have been paying all expenses of the condo for as long as I can remember and it is vacant. It is a headache and I want to sell it, but I cannot find my brother to get his agreement to sell. We have not been in touch for many year the last time I heard from him five years ago, he was living in his truck. He doesn't have an address, only one email and a cell number. He never answers my emails and does not answer his phone. What can I do to sell the property?
You definitely will need Florida counsel for this. You can file the petition for the partitioning of the property and request that it be sold, since it cannot be divided in two, of course. You can send notice to your brother at his last known address and you will likely need to publish notice as well. Of course, the court will have to hold proceeds for him or cause you to hold it in trust or your lawyer to do so. If you need real estate counsel in Florida I can refer you to a former colleague in Orlando who works, I believe, around the state, or to a litigation firm in Melbourne that does the same.
There are several options open to you in selling your Florida property. As you are aware, an action for partition of the property is a viable option. Since the condominium unit cannot be physically divided, you can have it sold at public sale and bid to buy your brother's half, or you can have a commissioner appointed to sell it a private sale with the proceeds being divided between you and your brother. You may also be able to establish some type of constructive trust to the property, giving you the right to sell it. However, this is not something you can do by yourself. It is also a case for which you cannot get adequate advice from an online legal forum. You should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in the county in which the property is located to help you decide on the best course of action.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
Real Estate Attorney
You should definitely seek counsel on this. You do need to file a petition for partition. You should also be able to argue that you are entitled to additional fees for the money you spent to maintain the property. Our office handles this type of issue. Call for a free consult.
Statements made are for informational purposes and are merely a legal opinion.
I agree with the above attorneys' responses that you will be best served by retaining an attorney to assist you in this matter. Specifically, an action for partition is most likely the best route for you to go. Pursuant to Florida Statutes you may be entitled to a recovery of the money you spent in maintaining the property. In addition, per Florida Statutes § 64.081 you may also be able to recover your reasonable attorney's fees and costs that you incurred in bringing this action. Good Luck and feel free to contact me or any of the attorneys in my office if needed to discuss your options further.
Please feel free to call either myself, or one of the other attorneys in my office, to discuss your matter in greater detail. You may have the right to be compensated for certain expenses also. Please call my office at (561) 368-3363 or toll free at 1 (855) 368-3363 or visit my website at www.ShinerLawGroup.com
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Mr. Shiner is licensed to practice law in the State and Federal Courts of Florida. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Shiner strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. To learn more about David I. Shiner or the Shiner Law Group, P.A. please call our office at (561) 368-3363 or toll free at 1 (855) 368-3363 or visit website at www.ShinerLawGroup.com or www.InCourt.com