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Michael Lykken, Esq
Michael Lykken, Esq,
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  Partner at Soares & Lykken, Attorneys at Law
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I have a friend, well were pretty close, anyway she was in a

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I have a friend, well were pretty close, anyway she was in a relationship for many years. They bought a house under joint tenacy. He decided to go back with his high school sweetheart and move 2000 miles away four years ago. He has had no communication until recently and tells my friend he is entitled to more than 50% of the equity in this house. Is that possible? My lady put a lot more money into this including mortgage payments. Any advise?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: What do you mean?
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: The question is simple. In a joint tenancy with ROS can a man who left come back and claim he owns more than 50% with no paperwork to back it up?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Also, he is coming tomorrow after 4 plus years of no contact. He wants his stuff he left here four and 1/2 years ago. Does he have rights to come into this house anytime, even though he abandoned his significant other 4.5 years ago? He also thinks he should be entitled to more than 50% of the house equity. He has contributed 0 for many, many, years, like 10 years.
Each has 50 percent equity. Normally one buys the other out after property appraised. If cannot agree the court would be asked to order the sale.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
what about the rest of my question?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
please opt out

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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Michael Lykken, Esq,
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience: Partner at Soares & Lykken, Attorneys at Law
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