Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate
litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
1. YES, either owner can file a partition lawsuit to force the sale of the property. The other owner cannot stop the partition action and the property will be sold.
2. YES. With a partition lawsuit, the court will order that the property be appraised, and once that occurs, the judge will give the owners the opportunity to buy out the other. If there are no takers, then the property would be put up for sale via auction, with a realtor, etc.
3. IT DEPENDS. If there's an agreement between the owners that says the expenses will be added to each owner's basis in the property and that the expenses paid will be paid back from the proceeds of the sale of the property, then YES, the parties would be repaid. However, if there's no written agreement stating that each party is entitled to what he/she paid in over the period of the ownership, then there's no guarantee. Instead, the judge would have to decide this. But usually, any payment volunteered during the ownership doesn't entitle the person to being reimbursed.