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J. Warren
J. Warren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2249
Experience:  Experience in estate planning including wills, trusts and succession planning.
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Hello, I am 25% owner in a PRIME beach house property. My sister

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Hello, I am 25% owner in a PRIME beach house property. My sister owns the other 25%, and my uncle owns 50%. There is no Written Agreement/ Terms of Agreement, etc. This piece of property has been passed down by my Grandparents. My uncle is very TOXIC, and I want to get out of owning this property with him.

Here is the thing, this is an AWESOME beach house atXXXXX Aptos, California 95003. It is right on the cliff, overlooking the ocean. It would sell for anywhere between 1,000,000.00 and 2,000,000.00 dollars. I am guessing it would be somewhere in between. I have approached my Uncle about my sister and I buying his 50%. He refuses to sell out to us. Neither my uncle, nor my sister, want to sell the home.

My question is this.......Can I force a sale on the home, to the public, even if my sister and my uncle don't want to sell the home? I am hesitant to just take a "cash out" because my uncle and sister would be getting a huge benefit, being that the home is under Prop. 13 Tax Status.

Please let me know.
Thank you,
Shannon Kearney
Hello! Thank you for your question today. My goal is to provide you with the information you seek.

Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) I will provide you with honest information and not necessarily to tell you might be hoping to hear.

I am very sorry you are dealing with this situation. Yes a person can bring a petition to partition and forced sale of property. These types of cases, as you can imagine, are very expensive, time consuming, contentious and run the risk of creating friction among family members for many years.

The process is initiated by filing a complaint with the court in the county where the real property is located. If the matter can not be resolved prior to the determined court date, the matter will be heard at a civil trial. Here is a good article that focuses on the current trend of California partition laws: www.partitionlaw.com/Primer.html

This type of legal action should be persuade with the help of local counsel to file the complaint and represent you in court. While you have a legal right to bring an action on your own behalf, because of the complexity in nature of these types of suits and the fact they are often one by persuasive argument, I would suggest you retain a lawyer.

The California State Bar Association has a link to various county bar sites that maintain a list of lawyers that practice in the area of partition and sale: www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx

Another action you might consider is trying to reach an agreement among the other owners as to how the property is to be managed, used and costs shared among the owners. This type of tenancy agreement can be useful in keeping a toxic owner's level of toxicity to a minimum. It would be helpful to have a lawyer assist with the drafting and negotiation of the terms. Also, a community mediator can be useful to resolve disputes of this nature. The mediator acts as an independent third party reasonable mind to try and reach an agreement among owners that then can be used to either enter into a transaction (sell the property) or create an agreement that helps defuse the problem.

Here is a link to community mediation information and mediators: www.cdrc.net/ and www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/mediation_programs.shtml

Also, it is possible, if the property is held as tenants in common and not as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, you could in theory if you can find a willing buyer and sell your 25% without the consent of the other owners.

All my best & encouragement.

Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated 3 or higher. If for any reason you feel that a low rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" tab.

All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. You provided me with a lot of information. I just want to confirm that as a 25% (minority) owner I can still "Force a Sale" of that beach house......Meaning that it will go to court, and be listed for sale on the public market.


 


Also, I don't want my private info. (in our correspondence) to be listed online. If you list my question, and your answer, can you please remove the property address and my name?

Yes even if you own only 25% you can bring a petition to partition and sale.

Regarding your information. Contact customer service, I can't delete information from the original question, however my understanding that it only shows up as xxxxxxxx only except on our online chat screen here, but please confirm that with customer service, sorry.

I hope everything works out for the best.

All my best & encouragement.

Please note that you are asked to rate my courtesy and professionalism, and not whether the answer supports your legal position. I only receive credit when rated 3 or higher. If for any reason you feel that a low rating is appropriate, please first give me the opportunity to address your concerns by clicking the "reply" tab.
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