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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7305
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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Need Florida lawyer with experience with joint property

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Need Florida lawyer with experience with joint property ownership of residence matters with some family law background, some state-county tax information regarding Homestead Exemptions, some divorce information and how it might impact joint ownership options and such.Situation: I share deed ownership with three others (25% each I guess). We are two couples who are both married who are related and share the residence (they full time and we join in as snowbirds at 6+ mo/yr and it is our primary residence as well. The other couple are considering a divorce. My wife and I are not sure what pitfalls or intrusion we might incur if for example they sold their 50% share to an unknown entity.The wife of the other couple and I alone are listed on the first and primary mortgage ($100,000 remaining) and I alone am on the hook for the second mortgage ($30,000). Could I have the wife of the other couple for example give me a quick claim deed for her share (25%) of the deed ownership even if her husband doesn't know or doesn't agree? Would 75% ownership allow me dominant decision making authority regarding the property use, rent and repair etc?Other questions .............NOTE: although Florida is our primary residence for tax purposes and we stay 6+ mo/yr, we vacation, travel and stay in North Dakota for several months of the year as well. We also are considering making ND our primary residence starting with 2017-2018 maybe.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
FL is a deed state, so it is not who is on the mortgage that matters, it is who is on the deed that matters for ownership. So, how is the deed written, who is on the deed and is it joint tenancy, tenants in common or what?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
please opt out

Best wishes good luck on your matter.

Hello. I am a different expert, and I will be happy to assist with your question. Checking your deed will answer the question as to whether or not the wife can convey her 25% interest to you. You need to know if the married couples hold their title as Joint tenants, tenants in common, or tenants by the entireties. A tenancy by the entirety treats the husband and spouse as a single unit. Neither can transfer title without the other; however, a joint tenant or tenant in common can convey their interest to anyone else. A 75% interest does not control the usage of the property against the wishes of a 25% joint or common tenant. It is not like owning stock incorporation or partnership percentage. The minority tenant would be in a position to force a sale of property through partition. You did not ask a specific question about residency, or how changing your residence affect your situation.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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Hello again. I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was out but have reviewed your response. Thanks. I am a disabled veteran and have some issues with both mental and physical limitations. I hope this doesn't bother you and I hope you can help me understand. Sometimes I need more information to understand compared to some.What i see so far is that any person who is on a deed is relevant and has similar powers compared to anyone else within the deed. And according to how the deed was filed it may help to sort out how to approach one another within the deed people. Is this what you mean? I have to visit the VA shortly for therapy but I hope we can continue to help clarify my situation and what options might be best to help resolve some of my issues. Thanks for your kind clarifications. I kind of would like to know more about the privileges and limitations of each of the three types of deed positions. But i have something more clear to work on now.
I really don't know where the deed is so can i call someone in Orange County, Florida to help me find out what type the deed has been filed under?
Will check back later today or tomorrow.
Your kind attention to detail is appreciated.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
tag back ----- I found out that there are four owner associates in the property. I am one of them and the property is under a "tenants in common" status. What does that mean?Can any one of us for example, demand to sector out 1/4 of the house, back yard or create a defined area of interest? can any of us invite and allow anyone to share the property even over the objections of the other three owner associates? can any of us sell our share or portion to anybody and would that person be able to do whatever they want on the property or their defined area of space?Curious ---- on friendly terms courtesy and consideration of others would be natural, but if things got a bit dicey what are the potential possibilities of trouble that could be put on the other three or what the other three could put on the "outcast" in the group ownership arena?In this situation, one of the four is "acting out" and causing "harassing" issues ----- wonder what are the options to encourage the "outcast" to leave, sell, transfer or even limit or confine the situation from a property ownership view.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The four are two married couples. How would a divorce or restraining order throw a wrench into the property control, management or living forced living options?I wish we could depend on courtesy and consideration but when the sh__ hits the fan the gloves tend to come off. Are there proactive decisions or mutual considerations that might be done from a share property ownership concept that might make it easier for all to move forward and reduce the risk of needing retraining orders and court intervention?Thanks for your detailed input regarding legal options that might help and restore order to my worries.

Thanks for getting back to me. So to clarify the legal status of the property in the granting clause of the deed, does it simply list four names followed by "as Tenants In Common", or words to that effect? Or does it say: John Doe and Mary Doe, Husband and Wife and Richard Roe and Jane Roe, Husband and Wife, as Tenants in Common? Does it state any fractional interest such as "an undivided 1/4 interest, or an undivided 1/2 interest for the couples?

You say: the property is under a "tenants in common" status. What does that mean? All tenants in common hold an individual, undivided ownership interest in the entire property. T in C can own unequal shares This means that each party has the right to alienate, or transfer the ownership of, his/her ownership interest. One owner cannot force another to sell their interest, or to abide by the wishes of the other co-owners. A tenant in common can go to court to force a partition, i.e. a physical division of the real estate, but if such is not possible, or practical, the court will usually order the property to be sold with the proceeds divided according to the ownership interests.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1/13/2017 @ 5:55 AM (CT)
Updated my review of your tag back. Thanks. I don't understand things to easily so I will try to find out if the T in C is after each name or after all names and if their is any specific % division mentioned. Thanks again. I definitely plan to rate you at 5 but should I not rate you after we conclude? I know it's taking me time to get back to read your help ..... But you are helping understand where I find myself. After a little bit of checking I hope to get back to you for more clarification. LGI

No problem, take as long as you need. All you need to do is contact your County recorder's office and obtain a copy of the deed In question. If you can't get there in person, you should be able to get it by mail. That will tell us everything we need to know. By the way, you can Click on the five-star rating at any time, and I can still answer your follow-ups ton this particular thread without an additional charge, unless you ask for a telephone call. I doubt that you're going to need that though.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1/13/2017 @ 11:25 PM (CT)
Thank you for kindly keeping in the loop and i feel more relaxed as i try to find out more information in order to understand better "where I stand" regarding this experience. I assume it's too late to ask the county to forward me the deed documents regarding the address property in question given it will soon be Saturday AM. So i guess i will wait until Monday to try and learn the outcome.
You seem genuinely interested in my situation and my effort to understand my legal standing so for this i again thank you. I play to rate you now as you said our contact on these matters can continue i guess.
I feel a little helpless already because so far it seems any of the four of us can cause a lot of road blocks and havoc if we wanted to be mean or vengeful. And the person i'm thinking about seems quite uncooperative at the moment. So, even though i am disabled both mentally and physically i guess it's up to me to walk across the water first. Thanks again for your info, support and direction. Hope to make contact again 1/16/2017 --- 1/19/2019.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1/13/2017 @ 11:34 PM (CT)
I tried to select the rating star area but it seems subdued or something and it would not accept my selection. I must be not understanding the method. If you can comment --- thanks. But i will call the people later and maybe get their help. Anyways, i appreciate your excellent consideration and effort to help me climb the mountain one step at a time. Later, with care. Order ID 17033897-97 (Loren)

The rating stars usually appear with an Answer like this. You don't need to worry about it if it doesn't work. I can get it done by the office if necessary. Also, Monday is a national holiday and most banks and courts are closed. Ask the Recorder if deeds can be seen on line.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
1/19/2017 @ 3:34 PM (CT)
I have manged to get a copy of the deed from Florida. There was no mention of T in C so I called Orange County and they told me in Florida if their isn't anything written otherwise all parties are considered as a group T in C and have equal privileges.Now I am wondering what that means? What privileges and what responsibilities? And can anyone do something no one else agrees to and can anything be done without notifying and getting, at least, verbal agreement or what? I don't understand the limits or the extent of my options? Can you help? Thanks! And sorry I seem to be behind the eight ball. But appreciate the insight and such.And did you mean you can help with the 5 star rating ..... not sure? I may have to call customer service for help?LGI

Loren: I'll reprint what I said above: (If you are unable to enter the rating, I can request that Just Answer do it for you. Not a problem.)

the property is under a "tenants in common" status. What does that mean? All tenants in common hold an individual, undivided ownership interest in the entire property. T in C can own unequal shares This means that each party has the right to alienate, or transfer the ownership of, his/her ownership interest. One owner cannot force another to sell their interest, or to abide by the wishes of the other co-owners. A tenant in common can go to court to force a partition, i.e. a physical division of the real estate, but if such is not possible, or practical, the court will usually order the property to be sold with the proceeds divided according to the ownership interests.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Irwin ........---- So, any T in C person in Fl can initiate a court action to demand that his/her "fair share" be physically defined by court if necessary as "their zone" or indirectly force a property sale regardless of the "emotional pain" and disruption such an action could cause other T in C owners and occupants including financial loss?If a "divisional arrangement" was imposed ...........
1. Is there a way for other T in C people to veto or delay such a notion? If the court got involved, how soon could such "sale, rent or otherwise" be imposed? Could mitigating circumstances like hardship play a role? Would a divorce pending delay such actions?
2. Could a "oral meeting of the minds" or "oral understanding" regarding property sale or use come into play? Could harassment, intimidation, threats, quid pro quo and even emotional distress or worse become the "fair of the day"? What if a teenager is an occupant?
4. In this T in C situation, could the law be used to allow the "power of dictatorship" of one to rule over majority ownership without recourse, compensation or remedy?
6. How could a restraining order or pending divorce affect a potential desire for property sale, rent or use?
7. How could a teenage occupant (daughter, grand daughter) affect the mix?
8. Could even unsavory characters be allowed visitation or occupancy rights based on the authority of any T in C owner regardless of the views or peril of other T in C owners or occupants? Even with the presence of a child occupant? And could these facts be used to as a veil threat to extort or force other T in C owners or occupants to acquiesce?Proactive options?
A. Offer a sum of money or other means of barter to the dissenter in exchange for a "quick claim" deed of his/her T in C rights of ownership ---- as on me giving him/her $2,000 for his "fair share".
B. Offer to pay or "cover" his share of a mortgage obligation in writing (legal), relieving him/her of any future financial burden regarding the property or, at least, providing a vehicle of reimbursement if he/her was held account by the debt enforcer.
C. Create other, yet to be determined, incentives that would result in transferring the property T in C rights of ownership to say me.
D. If the dissenter had a mind to transfer his/her T in C rights of ownership to one or all of the remaining three owners, how could that legal form or writing take place and what would it look like? ===== "quick claim deed", statement like "I, owner A, give all my rights as a T in C owner regarding the "address" property to owner B." And would such a simple note in writing and signed by the dissenter have legal standing? Or would their have to be witnesses? And if witnesses how many? And if witnesses can any of the remaining three owners be those witnesses? Or can the 13 year old non-owner but daughter-occupant be a witness? Or can simply two neighbors, two bank tellers or two anybodies be the witnesses if required? And if the written note was simply notarized would any witnesses be even required? And if there were say two witnesses, would the notary be necessary to have legal standing?
E. If a conversation was created with the dissenter and he/she made an oral agreement or arrangement regarding the transfer of his/her T in C rights of ownership, could that stand up with two witnesses?It might help to have answers with reference to a letter or number!What are your thoughts?Thanks,

I'm sorry, but this is much too long and involved to answer here. I would have to write of course real estate, and trial procedure to answer it. Further, I think you are letting your imagination run away with you. There's little or no possibility that a judge would order physical division of a single-family home. I've never heard of that being done. In the case of a vacation property the judge might instruct the parties to reach a agreement to share the home where that would not be there at the same time, but that's it. Court is not going to bother with a convoluted arrangement between the parties. They will tell you either settle it among yourselves or a sale will be ordered and one or two parties can buy out the others.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I agree that I let my "imagination run away with me". But sometimes the darkness is one way to detect a small but clear light. And you have shown me that small but clear light that can help me go forward.Sometimes one doesn't really want to know "what all is going on in the mind of someone else".But the fact that you were willing to grasp the extent of my concern, worry and complexity and offered a simple, succinct yet thorough summary has made me sense interest, care and most importantly reassurance.Thanks again for understanding and not "throwing in the towel" when many likely would have ---- refer!You have satisfied my need for legal inquiry ......If I have further legal concerns regarding this Topic at Hand, would you be interested in "knocking heads" or would you rather I "look elsewhere"? Either way I remain thankful and reassured.BTW ---- Unless you mention otherwise, I will assume that you have set up the 5 rating with justanswer (for your service) ---- Great Job!Best to you and yours,Sincerely,Loren

Loren: Thanks for your kind words. I submitted the rating problem to JA, and it will be taken care of. If you want to direct a new question to me, simply post the question and started with: "For Irwin Law Only", and it will be directed to me. If you go to the top of this reply there should be something very prominent that offers you the opportunity to rate the answer with the five stars. If you do not see that, please let me know. I will report that to JA as something that needs to be fixed.

Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7305
Experience: Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
Irwin Law and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks!Went to the top and it seems highlighted so will 5 star!Thanks for the tip ---- "For Irwin Law Only" ---- wonder though ---- what types of law questions? ---- any Florida law or just specifically "Real Estate & Property"?Until then,Take care of you and yours,Loren
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
As someone mentally disabled, I still am trying to find what legal remedies can help an emotionally charged "joint-property-home-ownership" disturbance. If this is a "hands off" situation let me know.Otherwise, if there are some simple legal angles that can help please advise. If not, then I guess I will have "grin and bare it" until some peaceful arrangement falls from the sky.One concern is that the "person of interest" has deadly military skills, can get semi-abusive and apparently in the past shown evidence of creating a "very harsh reality" to others that seem to not give him what he wants in the way he wants it. Sometimes remaining silent and hoping for the best is the option when "I can get you sooner or later" seems to be the motto. Threats are not unusual and "kindness with a quid pro quo" can be the norm. But "making you feel worthless" and "favoring himself over those he proposes to care for" rules the day.Still wondering about that four joint T in C ownership in Florida. I tried to engage contact with the person that is causing a lot of unnecessary trouble hoping to come to a "buy out" or more peaceful resolution.I got this response from an email to him:"No paint yet, marriage still shot, cruse in beginning of may, and Taxas are in.
PS: this is the last replying to email. I hope you got all the info needed."1. Although he indicated that he wouldn't be "replying", can I still email FYI and other messages as desired without running the risk of "harassment" or a "pattern of annoyance"? Can I email him for "clarification" meaning "is this temporary or permanent" or "how would you like us to share information" and such. Advise?....
2. He has said to me that he prefers talking on the phone --- but I feel I should have our conversation and "ad-hoc" agreement regarding the property in some form of writing like a text, email or something in order to build with some degree of teeth a formal arrangement. Is that not a good idea? Or how can I get on the same page with him so we can move on with setting up a solution without ruffling feathers and leading to a "destroy mentality"? Advise?......3. I was thinking about sending him and email like:I plan to call you by phone between 12-15 Feb 2017 to discuss property and living arrangement issues, but be aware of the following:
a. I have specific questions to ask you and you may want some on hand to ask me.
b. I plan to record our phone contacts.
c. If you fail to notify me that you disagree by text, email or give a phone message through my wife(###) ###-#### by midnight of 10 Feb 2017, then your "non-response" will be taken as an okay and it will be understood that you have no objections.4. Does an email with no response have any teeth? In what way can i get him to be on the same page during a contact and yet "hold his feet to the fire" on what he says or agrees to?
5. Can he be compelled to talk or write or respond to me?
6. Can a "non-response" to anything be considered an "agreeing to situation" in the court?
7. Can he be compelled to respond to a lawyer request?Can I force him to court or mediation and get an amicable result?Are there legal delays he can cause?If a person just "doesn't care" and "doesn't want to cooperate" or "will create endless resistance" is there a simple "quick and dirty" legal way to "encourage cooperation" or face some consequence?Can a T in C owner simply exist and cause "semi-harassment" issues without recourse if he or she will not cooperate and even create barriers of cooperation? This seems hostile in nature but are my hands tied?Even a buyout seems to not get attention. He seems to relish in his "power and authority" to create "emotional havoc" and "disruptive lack of cooperation" at will and at the most unhelpful moments. Advise?Are there simple legal remedies that can effect cooperation and lead to a result without us going "all out" and simply move our joint home to a sale and let the money fall where it will?Still concerned about him selling his T & C share to an unsavory character as another way to "continue a forced sale" or cause annoyance by proxy.I agree, I can think too much and my imagination can go over the edge at times. But there is real life "misery" for some in this T in C arrangement and there are few choices that don't cause "emotional disturbance" with him being uncooperative and even intrusive if not abusive from an harassment point of view. Not to mention the "strangeness and discomfort" the 13 year old female occupant has noted. Advise?Money may be the answer to many things but is it the only solution for "distress in family or group" arrangements?Bot***** *****ne: he has felt offended and if he doesn't get life his way he apparently plans to make everyone else pay at least a heavy "emotional and psychological" price. When peace comes by "leaving your home for years" or "losing the point of having a home of rest and safety" then where are we?

Loren: I'm sorry to hear that you are still undergoing this distressful situation. As you said, this is not a real estate question any longer. Perhaps I misunderstood the original information, but I thought you share this home with the other person and his spouse at different times of the year, so that you are not actually cohabiting at any given time. Is this correct? If so, can you please make a list of specific actions of that individual, rather than what your fears are about potential actions that he may take.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for still trying to help. I guess it's come down to me asking for him and maybe his spouse to sign a "quick claim" deed over to me. I'm not sure if I can just make one Quick Claim and have them both sign off or if two are required. Even though they may barter for money or something I feel that the time has come.Yes, I live in two states because of medical necessity but Florida is still our primary for tax purposes and we intend to soon return and deal more directly with this matter if all else fails.The issues of concern may be a bit dicey and lead to legal concerns so I would rather leave it there and simply obtain deed control and then I feel I will have more direct control to "put down the law" as my dad used to say.I hope to do things the nice and easy way but if I must do things the hard way it seems, after sharing with you, that having deed control would be very persuasive and useful even if it went to court.Is this not true. If it is then I want to move forward with a Quick Claim signature(s) within 30 days. If you have other options that can offer me deed control in a "quick and dirty" way I'm all ears.Your consideration and thoughtfulness has been reassuring and evidence of kind interest.Also, any pitfalls that I might need to know would be nice.Thanks again for responding,Sincerely,Loren
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
2/15/2017 @ 5:19 AM (CT)In addition to my last note, you might need to know that:1. I am primary on the mortgage and "his spouse" is secondary on the mortgage. My wife and the person of concern are noted on the mortgage but only as "concurrence" without any legal financial obligation as I understand it after talking with the mortgage holder NationStar Mortgage.2. He, as well as his wife, has made an oral agreement to offer up to $800 every month as consideration for staying and caring for our joint T in C property as we co-inhabit, at least, much of the year. More or less.3. The house insurance is paid by me. The taxes are waived by Florida law because of my disability status. I have paid the pseudo-tax garbage cost once a year. My wife and I have paid for upgrades to the house, appliances and 90% of the furniture.4. The electric, water are up for grabs who pays. There is no city sewer cost because we have septic but I pay for upgrades and repairs in that area.5. Major care like a new roof ---- my wife and I pay for monthly.
I don't know if this info matters, but I thought I would display most of the related financial landscape.Your thoughts as a lawyer, consultant or even "life coach" are appreciated. Other questions?With high regards,Loren(Will try to touch back in a few days.)

I don't know what any of the info in #1 above means. Of course if the other person (and spouse) voluntarily sign off on a Quitclaim Deed to you, then it's problem solved. Loren, I think I've gone as far as I can on this thread.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
your candid and thoughtful communication has been a pleasure. so i wanted to say a last thanks. and if i consider more questions or need some legal "kick" i would like to keep you in mind.regards,Loren

LOREN: THANKS, ***** ***** come again, you can start your questionFOR IRWIN LAW ONLY and it will be diurected to me.