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If two individuals bought a home and one of them left nine years ago and has not returned, left no forwarding address or way to contact them, can the individual living in the home legally sale it?
No, not without a court order of partition where the judge orders the property sold at public auction to the highest bidder. The one person could only sell what they own..50%. And it might be hard to sell half a house to someone else for a decent price.
Would the individual who left have any legal rights to the home if the indivual living there were to pass way before the sale of the house?
It depends on how the deed reads. They could end up owning the entire property if the deed says "joint tenants". Or they could end up owning half of it if it says "tenants in common".