I am 1/3 owner of a house in California. 1 of my siblings is wanting us to sell but he has not paid anyhthing on the house for almost 9 years and is now wanting us to sell the house so he can get his inheritance but it is in all 3 names and the majority which is myseld and the one living in the residence with 2 young children do not want to sell. Does he have a leg to stand on to make us sell the house?
Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
You talk about an inheritance, but I am not about the fact pattern. Whose house was this? When did the deceased pass away? How were you related to the deceased? Did the deceased leave this house to you and your two siblings in equal shares? If the three of you are equal owners on title, and only one of you wants to sell, you probably have two options. Either the two people who do not want to sell enter an agreement to buy the third person's shares, or the person who wants to sell can bring a lawsuit for partition of the property. You should consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.
Yes, your sibling who owns a partial interest in the house can sue in court in what is called a "partition and sale" action. This is a court procedure by which a judge will order the property sold and the proceeds distributed amongst the co-owners.
Upon granting judgment partitioning by sale of the property, the court will order that the proceeds of the sale pay the encumbrances thereon, and the net proceeds thereof then be divided between the parties in an equitable amount to be determined by the court, in addition to allowance, accounting, contribution, or other compensatory adjustment among the parties according to principles of equity, pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 872.140.
In such a partition action, you will need to present your evidence of why the court ought to distribute the proceeds differently than the ownership percentages.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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