Understanding Partition Actions

Joint ownership of real property is great for some situations, but unfortunately it can also lead to disputes. If you are one of multiple joint property owners finding yourselves unable to agree on the disposition of your property, you could file a civil lawsuit to force the sale of the property. This is known as a “partition action.” Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of these lawsuits.

When might a partition action be necessary?

Picture this: After your father died, he left a vacation home in the mountains to you, your brother, and your sister. It’s not in the best of repair. Your sister thinks you should all put some money into fixing it up and enjoy it as a family. Your brother would prefer to fix it up as an investment and sell it for a higher price once renovations are complete. You want nothing to do with keeping the property and think the vacation home should be put on the market and sold to put some money in all your bank accounts. This is just one of countless situations that could result in a partition action.

What relief can a court provide if a partition action is filed?

Generally, the court will mandate that the property be sold and the money from the sale be divided proportionally to the ownerships (equally if they all own equal portions of the property). In some cases, the court may divide the property among the owners without selling it, but this would only be possible if the property were a block of townhouses, for instance, or a wide expanse of vacant land. Of course, courts would not divide up a house and say, “You own the kitchen and you own the living room,” or anything of that sort.

Are partition actions for commercial or residential properties?

Either! A partition action can be filed in any case where multiple people have joint ownership of real estate.

Can I file a partition action on my own?

We don’t recommend it! A partition action requires the filing of a lawsuit in the courthouse, and formal service of the lawsuit on all defendants. The action must be filed in the County in which the property is located, regardless of where the owners live. The legal paperwork for filing a partition action can be quite complex depending on the status of the property and/or the owners. Courts will also require that you provide many specific documents. And complicated paperwork aside, an attorney can make sure your rights are protected. If you are considering a partition action, seek guidance from an experienced real estate attorney. With over 30 years’ experience in real estate, Carlos Reyes and The Reyes Law Group can help. We serve Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties and there is no charge for our initial consultation. Give us a call at (954) 369-1993. Se Habla Español.

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Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

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