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I own a cabin with a partner we are tenants in common I own…

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I own a cabin...

I own a cabin with a partner we are tenants in common I own 1/4 he owns 3/4 he improved the property without my permission redid the dock, deck, added a mudroom costing $400,000 we got an appraisal before 1,1K and after 1,130,000 so the improvements did not significantly change the value which is why I did not agree to them. How can I fight him to say that I am not responsible for his improvements

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Legally?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

We have not filed anything against each other

Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/21/2017
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 48,844
Experience: 30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

The only remedy here is a suit for partition.The court would have to sort all of this out from the gross sales price, what is allowed as reimbursement if anything.Then the net is divided 3/4 and 1/4.The court in such a suit determines the terms of sale and what is allowed as deductions to ge to the net.The court might well disallow these since you did not consent to them and they did not add to the value.This is the only way to force a sale and fair resolution of the joint ownership.You have a right to file such a suit for partition and resolution here in California.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago
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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

If a co-owner of a property will not agree to sell their portion of the property, and conversely will not allow you to "buy them out" (e.g. is being an unreasonable A**), your only real course of action is to file a lawsuit for partition. This process can be relatively expensive, and typically requires getting a formal appraisal of the property and the preparation and filing of a Summons and Complaint, a Notice of Pending Action (Lis Pendens), and a motion for an interlocutory judgment. California Code of Civil Procedure §872.250(a) requires the plaintiff to file and record a Lis Pendens -- Notice of Pending Action to Partition Real Property -- in the county in which the property is located. If the plaintiff fails to file and record the Lis Pendens, California Code of Civil Procedure §872.250(c) requires the court to stay the action until this is done.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Absent the parties coming to an agreement on the method and terms of sale (the rational decision), the court may prescribe any manner, terms, and conditions of sale not inconsistent with the partition statute. (California Civil Code of Procedure §873.610(a).) which include sale by either public auction or by private sale. (California Civil Code of Procedure §873.600 and §873.530.)

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I understand about the partition option but what are the rules laws regarding maintenance and improvements when both partners don't agree. I am sorry but your answer is something I already understand and it does not address the questions about a law that I could quote about maintenance and improvements I am not obligated to
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

The property is jointly owned, he should have gotten your consent here.If he mortgaged the property to to do these the court could take these out of his share of a sale.This is not a common problem that one tenant puts so much money into property without your consent.Long term you are better off raising this issue now rather than say 5 years from now because the court may say you waived your right to complain.A court ordered sale seems to be in your best interest if you hope to have the court disallow some of these.You have valid points that you weren't involved or given consideration prior to them being done.Arguably you can object to them as they really don't seem rational as they did not add value.

Thanks for the follow up.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

If you don't force a sale and try to resolve this then laches comes into play later on

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/the-doctrine-of-laches

Elements of Laches

In order to successfully assert a laches defense, the following three elements must be present: (1) a delay in asserting a right or a claim; (2) the delay was not reasonable or excusable; and (3) either acquiescence in the act about which plaintiff complains OR prejudice to the defendant resulting from the delay.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you but I need to know what law to quote that says I am not liable for this maintenance or improvements. He did not mortgage the property and I do not want to go to court over this I just want to know what to quote to back my position or if a letter can be written to document that I am not liable since I did not agree and they did not improve the property more than 30,000 (my share would be 7500) and he spend 400,000
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Here are the cases for California the argument will be whether they improved the value of the property and therefore reimbursable.

http://www.emw-sandiego-attorney.com/compensatory-adjustments-in-partition-actions-under-california-law

Court would ultimately decide this when it is sold, if there is disagreement the court would rule.Thats really the only process for resolving this and have a judge rule on what gets charged off the gross sale proceeds.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you for the court cases regarding this however I asked for a legal description I could quote that says tenants in common are not obligated for maintenance and improvements the other partner elects to do without agreement please can you give me this information
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

There is no law here that states this.The case above state that they get reimbursement in a suit for partition only if it adds to the value.A lender or contractor would need to contract with both owners if known.This sounds like he just did it.You would need to intervene here if you want to argue this matter.These are undivided interests, arguably he did not need your permission. The only way to raise this issue with him would be to claim in partition that it did not raise the value and was done recklessly without your consent.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

A tenancy in common is a form of property ownership that does not provide any survivorship rights among the co-owners, unlike with a joint tenancy. When one tenant in common dies, that tenant’s interest in the property does not automatically pass to the surviving tenants in common. Each tenant in common has the right to posses the entire property. In California, a tenancy in common is presumed, absent language to the contrary.

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Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

You would have the right to sell your interest to another.

Alienability in this context refers to a co-owner’s ability to sell, give, devise or otherwise dispose of his share of the property. A tenant in common may alienate his share just as if the tenant in common was the sole owner of the property. A joint tenant must first destroy her relationship as a joint tenant. This is commonly done by the tenant in common granting herself her share of the property. For example, if A and B are joint tenants and A wanted to destroy the joint tenancy, A would convey his half interest in the property to himself as a tenant in common. A and B would then be tenants in common and either could then alienate his own share. The consent or knowledge of the other joint tenants is not required.

Then it would become their problem. Again there is not s simple straight forward statute that says both parties must agree to repairs and improvements here in California just the cases I gave you.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
This is something I googled
can you give me something like thisThere is one exception, in that no tenant in common can be forced to pay for improvements to the property, unless such a provision is included in the tenancy in ..
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

Check your deed here to see if it was included in the deed, if thats the case you might have a contract argument--this is what they are referencing here that if it is in deed the provision ..

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
sorry this is it in full how does this pertain to my situationRights and Duties of Tenants
Tenants in common have a right to unrestricted access to the entire property, regardless of the percentage each owns. If the property earns income, each co-owner has a right to a percentage of the income equal to their percentage of ownership. Each co-owner in a tenancy in common also has a responsibility of maintenance, upkeep, taxes, and other costs of owning the property equal to their percentage of ownership.For example:Jane owns a 50 percent share of a tenancy in common, with Bob owning a 25 percent share, and Adam and Ronald owning 12.5 percent each. Each one of them is responsible for paying their percent share towards upkeep and ownership of the property, and each is entitled to their percent share of the property’s income.There is one exception, in that no tenant in common can be forced to pay for improvements to the property, unless such a provision is included in the tenancy in common agreement. If one co-owner desires to improve the property, he would have to pay for it himself, unless other co-owners willingly contribute.end of quote
My cabin partner will argue that they were required maintenance not improvements but even though the dock and deck were worn and needed repair they were still operable
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

I understand, thats going to be tough on your end here, unless you can show it did not add value.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I have an appraisal before and after that proves it
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

So here you are free to send demand letter to other parties that you claim these go beyond the scope of the letter as far as repairs and should not have been done without consent of all and that as such should not be reimbursable.It violates the spirit and letter of the agreement.That puts them on notice you aren't going to pay based on the fact you argue they were remodeling rather that repairs.

It protects you here for later on if the courts get involved in say partition.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Is there anything that I can use to support these were improvements not required maintenance. What is the description of maintenance? I have pictures of the old and new dock I can send you - basically the old dock was saying a bit and the cleats had to be replaced to hold the jet ski and boat on occasion but it still worked and was safe.The deck had a couple holes in a board or two but again was operable. Can he argue redoing them completely was necessary?
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

You can argue that repair rather then replacement was prudent under the circumstances and thats what would have been financially prudent.As you can see this is the problem with tenants in common.

If it makes you feel better I have a brother that I couldn't with on anything, the time of the funeral for my m other, color of the coffin, you name it.It is hard for me to fathom that we had the same parents sometimes we are true opposites.

Thanks again and good luck here, thanks for rating 5 stars.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Thank you is this true that I googled?Co-owners generally do not have any obligation to contribute to any costs of repairing or improving the property. If one co-owner adds a feature that enhances the value of the property, that co-owner has no right to demand that any others share the cost of adding that feature – even if other co-owners reap greater profits from the property because of it. However, at partition, a co-owner is entitled to recover the value added by his or her improvements of the property if the "improvements" resulted in an increase in property value
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
this describes maintenance on a property justifying that what he did is way beyond maintenanceWhat is Property Maintenance?
Property maintenance refers to the overall upkeep of real property or land. It may refer to the maintenance of either private residential property or commercial real estate. Property maintenance is usually performed by the property owner, although in many cases the owner may hire a maintenance company to perform the tasks.Property maintenance services can include:General and specific repairs
Cleaning services
Installation of various fixtures
Installation and upkeep of utilities such as plumbing, electrical, wiring, etc.
Structural repairs or re-installation of roofing or garage doors
Cosmetic or aesthetic changes such as a new paint job
- See more at: http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/property-maintenance-lawyers.html#sthash.VpuLV3qZ.dpuf
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Here is the before and after dock pictures
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 1 year ago

You would have to argue this was way beyond repairs but really improvements.

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