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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53721
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My father passed away a year ago. He left his house and property

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My father passed away a year ago. He left his house and property to be equally divided between his four children. Two children want to sell. One child moved in without consulting any of the other children. All children sat down together and made the agreement two children would buy the other two out. No money has passed hands and there was no legal documentation to this discussion. Can two children have the one evicted? Is there a way to sell even if two want to sell and two do not?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. First, all owners must agree before any one child can take occupancy alone. Any of the other owners may cause the occupying owner to be evicted, but the formal eviction process must be followed to avoid a suit for an illegal eviction. Even though he is paying nothing, he is deemed to be a month to month tenant. Under Missouri law, any owner can terminate the tenancy of a month to month tenant by giving written notice of at least 30 days. If he does not leave voluntarily within that period, you would then need to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, what you cannot legally do is move the tenant's stuff out, change the locks, or exercise any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order from the court.

Second, with regard to a sale. If one or more owners want to sell and the others will not agree to sell or buy the interests of the owners wanting to sell, those wanting to sell can force the sale by filing a suit for partition. The result of that suit will be one of the following: i) if the property can be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property divided into smaller parcels with each owner then owning 100% of their own smaller tract with full control over that tract; or ii) if the property cannot be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property sold and the proceeds divided. Since a house cannot be divided, the court will order the house sold. The reality is that in most cases, once the owners fighting the sale find out the certainty of the result of a suit for partition, that/those owner(s) typically agrees/agree to the sale without the suit to avoid the costs of the suit.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When the four children met there was an agreement if the one child who occupied the property would make payments on a month to month basis they could stay. Does this change the answer you have already provided?

Thanks for your reply. That is only a month to month tenancy and can be terminated by any owner with 30 days written notice. If any owner gives such a notice, the occupant's tenancy can be terminated.
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