Real Estate Law
Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney. I will try to answer your question to your satisfaction. The law for joint tenants is that each is entitled to one-half of the property. This includes possession and other incidents of ownership. It doesn't matter that he was gone as those rights can't be waived. He still has a right to enter the property. If your friend refused, then it could be a situation where the other party could claim ouster (which implicates different laws).
If a party wants to force a sale, then the party would have to file a partition action. The court would say that the parties have to split the property, but there is an accounting that can be done. If one party pays all of the property taxes, mortgage, etc. on the property, then that party can get a contribution from the other party for one-half of those costs. So unless the other guy was paying all of the costs of the property's costs he would have no basis for claiming that he gets more than 50% of the value of the property. I hope this helps, and if you need clarification please ask.
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