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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53727
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I own an apt in NYC 50/50 split with my estranged boy friend.

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I own an apt in NYC 50/50 split with my estranged boy friend. Can I move in legally if he is not there and claim squatter's rights and change the locks to prevent him from moving in?
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. Actually, both of you have the right to live there and neither of you has the right to keep the other from living there since you both own it 50/50. Each of you have the same equal rights. So, you can move in, but you would not be able to lock him out and vice versa. If one of you wants to live there without the other, the one living there needs to pay the other 1/2 of the fair market rental value of the property. If you don't want to continue in this co-ownership relationship given your current personal relationship with him, you are not forced to continue. If one of you can't agree to buy the other out on terms acceptable to the two of you, and he won't agree to sell the property, you can force a 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.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could legally do what you hoped, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
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Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! For easy access, my bookmark is:

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