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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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My name is ***** *****, I live in Ontario. In 2013, my

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****, I live in Ontario. In 2013, my father transferred property from his name to his 3 children. As a result, the property is now co-owned by myself and my 2 siblings as tenants-in-common, with each of us owning an undivided one-third interest. The property is a vacant lot of approximately 95 acres.My questions regarding options are as follows:My wife and I are interested in building a house on the lot, however we are unsure how to legally proceed given that the land is co-owned. We are wondering whether we should/could:1) Build a house on the lot, and have sole ownership on the house even through it is on co-owned land. We are not sure what legal and financing/mortgage complications we could run into in this situation, and what would happen in the future if my siblings wanted to sell their 2/3 of the lot;2) "Buy-out" my siblings for their 2/3 of the lot so that I could obtain full ownership of the lot prior to building a house on the lot. My wife and I are not necessarily in a financial position to "buy-out" my siblings for their 2/3 of the lot and to still be able to afford to build a house, and we are concerned about any resulting property transfer taxes if I were to take over full ownership of the lot.3) Apply for a severance of only a portion of the lot (e.g., 10 acres) to allow us to build a house on a solely owned portion of the land, but retain co-ownership of the remaining portion of the lot? We are concerned about property transfer taxes too with this situation, and the possibility of there being any municipal regulations prohibiting the severance of "rural countryside" (RU) zoned lots, due to our municipality's goal of promoting village growth vs. creation of additional "RU" zoned lots. My wife and I would appreciate any assistance that you can provide us with regards ***** ***** legalities of this situation.
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Customer: I provided a detailed summary above. After reading it, please let me know if you required more information.
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Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

Will the other siblings sign an agreement acknowledging your right to a larger interest in the property do you think?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Perhaps, but I'm not sure if that solves my question about the legalities of whether we could build a house of our own on co-owned land, and what resulting legal and/or financial issues could be encountered in the future.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

The problem is that if you each own 1/3 of the land then you may be stuck with only getting 1/3 of the equity if the property is sold down the road.

But if you have an agreement with your siblings that provides that if the property is later sold you will get more than 1/3 of the total proceeds and the agreement sets out some formula for working out what you get then you will be in a much more secure position.

If they will not agree then your next step would be to apply for a severance of the lot and then if that doesn't work you may have to either try and buy them out, have them buy you out and then if none of that works you might have to apply to the court for an order for the sale of the property.

Does that answer your question.

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