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JBaxLaw
JBaxLaw, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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I just bought a house with a boyfriend. He paid cash for the

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I just bought a house with a boyfriend. He paid cash for the house but put both of us on title as . I signed an agreement to pay him $2000 per month towards my share of 50% equity in this house, and will faithfully do so and have also paid the earnest deposit, and will cover all the taxes insurance and other expenses, as it is my primary residence. We are now broken up. I'm just moving into the house, as it just closed last month. Can he force me to sell it, or buy him out, or do anything that may cause me to have to leave this residence? I'm worried he may get vindictive.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Hello, I am a professional here to assist you. I appreciate your use of this service.

AttorneyJohnJ :

I see you bought a home with a boyfriend and you are no longer together.

Customer:

That's correct

AttorneyJohnJ :

I see that you are on the title. This means that you were deeded the home along with your boyfriend. Most likely this is as tenants in common which is a form of ownership typically used in these situations.

AttorneyJohnJ :

You are asking if there is a means by which he can force you to lose your ownership.

AttorneyJohnJ :

There is a civil action called a partition. This type of civil action can be filed in court and will result in the home being sold and proceeds being divided by tenants in common.

AttorneyJohnJ :

But, the other owner would need to take you to court to force the sale via the partition action.

Customer:

That's likely correct. I'm looking at the paperwork trying to see if it's otherwise.

Customer:

Well aren't we both owners since we are equally on title?

AttorneyJohnJ :

If you were not deeded the home, then he can sell the home without your permission. If you are an owner, he either needs your permission or may use the partition action.

Customer:

So, even if I'm living in it with my children, the courts can still force me to sell if he files this partition?

AttorneyJohnJ :

Yes. The court would not consider if you are living in the home typically.

AttorneyJohnJ :

But, that would require him obtaining an attorney and paying to pursue this legal action.

Customer:

And I suppose I could get a loan on the full amount of the home and "buy" him out, but he would have to give me permission to get the loan, right, since he's on title too?

Customer:

Is a partition action generally an expensive thing?

AttorneyJohnJ :

This is not a simple process and that barrier of cost and effort may be a deterrent.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Yes. As with most civil suits, it is costly.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Yes. He would need to agree to sell you his interest. If a partition action was filed, a court would likely allow you to buy so long as the payment was at fair market value.

Customer:

Well, let's hope it is a deterrent! And that's good news on me being able to buy at FMV.

AttorneyJohnJ :

As to him agreeing to a sale, that is only required in a normal sale. A court would sell to the highest buyer including you.

Customer:

Okay, lastly, in a court of law, is it possible that the amounts I pay towards property taxes, HOA, and of course upgrades would go towards my basis in this property?

AttorneyJohnJ :

The starting point is ownership. I assume you own half, so a court would start by allocating half of the proceeds to you. The court may then reduce that amount by considering the arrangement you describe. Yes, a court may consider such factors.

AttorneyJohnJ :

Any other questions?

AttorneyJohnJ :

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Customer:

They would allocate proceeds to me even though I did not put down even 10%? He paid the cash up front.

Customer:

And yes on the positive rating

AttorneyJohnJ :

You are a half owner.

Customer:

Yay!! Thank you! Goodbye.

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