Two Partner Discussing Property Sell

Title Disputes: When One Party Doesn’t Want to Sell 

Mosaic Law, P.C. Dec. 29, 2022

Co-ownership of property – a situation where two or more people have an ownership interest in a real estate property – is common in California and across the United States. In order to sell a co-owned property, all the co-owners must agree to and approve the real estate sale. Unfortunately, disputes often arise regarding the title or when one party refuses to sell.  

At Mosaic Law, P.C., our attorneys provide clear legal guidance and advocacy to clients in real estate-related matters. We’re available to discuss your situation and explore your possible legal options. Also, our trusted team will help file a partition action or take the necessary legal steps to divide and sell the co-owned property. We’re proud to serve clients across San Jose, California, and throughout Santa Clara Valley, South County, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Situations in Which One Person Won’t Sell 

When two or more people own or have interests in a property, disputes may arise in the long run. The property’s co-owners may disagree concerning the usage rights, maintenance, property sale, renovation, or taxes. When this occurs, selling the property may be the ideal solution. However, there must be an agreement between all the co-owners before the jointly-owned property can be sold. 

Below are some possible situations where one party may refuse to sell their interests in a property: 

  • Inheritance – Heirs and family members who inherited real estate or personal property from their late parents. 

  • Divorce – A divorced couple who co-owns their marital home.  

  • Romantic – This may be a mutual property owned by individuals who were previously or currently in a romantic relationship. 

  • Invested Ownership Partners – Friends or business partners who jointly purchased or invested in the property ownership. 

However, when one party refuses to sell the property, the other party that wants to sell may turn to the California court to help divide the real estate property and force the sale. This can be achieved by filing a partition action. A seasoned lawyer can educate you about the types and processes involved in filing a partition in The Golden State. 

Understanding Partitions  

A partition action can be described as a legal action filed by one of the co-owners of a co-owned property requesting the court to divide the subject property among the other co-owners. It is a court-ordered equitable property division and can be used for any jointly-owned property, including land, home, building, or farm. 

Who Can File a Petition Action? 

In California, anyone who co-owns a property may be eligible to bring a partition action. This may include one or more co-owners, tenants in common, partners, concurrent owners, or joint tenants. 

Types of Partition Actions 

Here are the different types of partition actions in California: 

  • Partition in Kind – This occurs when the co-owners come together to divide their ownership rights in the property or land fairly – into physically distinct and separately titled parcels. 

  • Partition by Appraisal – This allows the co-owner who intends to sell the property to purchase the ownership interests of the other parties. The value of the property will be determined through a court-ordered evaluation or appraisal. 

  • Partition by Interlocutory Judgment – This requires leaving the decision to the court system. The judge will determine the ownership interest of each co-owner and force the sale of the whole property with the court’s supervision. 

The Partition Process  

Here are some of the steps involved in filing a partition action in California: 

  • Hire an experienced lawyer to help file the partition action in court. 

  • Name every party who has an ownership interest or claim in the property. 

  • Serve the complaint on all named defendants (the other co-owners and lienholders). 

  • Proceed to a court trial and attend the hearing. 

At the hearing, the judge will review the available evidence and documentation and listen to arguments from all parties. Also, the judge will issue a judgment to determine each party’s ownership interests as well as the partition method. 

What’s more, a referee may be appointed to oversee the partition process and make necessary recommendations. An experienced California real estate attorney can walk you through the legal processes involved and help you navigate key decisions. 

Turn to Mosaic Law, P.C. for Trusted Legal Guidance 

Selling a co-owned property often involves a lot of complexities, especially when one party refuses to sell. In a situation like this, filing a partition action may be the right option to divide the property or force the real estate transaction. At Mosaic Law, P.C., our attorneys are poised and ready to advise and guide clients through the complex procedures involved in dividing and selling jointly-owned properties. 

As your legal counsel, we can inform you about the different legal options that are available to you and help you decide the ideal one for your unique situation. In addition, our experienced team will help file the partition action and represent you intelligently at the court proceedings. We will fight diligently for your best interests and help ensure a smooth and hassle-free property sale. 

Contact Mosaic Law, P.C. today to arrange a simple consultation with experienced real estate attorneys. Our knowledgeable team has the trusted legal guidance and advocacy you need to navigate intelligent decisions. We proudly serve clients in San Jose and throughout Santa Clara Valley, South County, and the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.