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A townhouse where it is a 3 bed 1.5 bath on one side which…

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A townhouse where it is...
A townhouse where it is a 3 bed 1.5 bath on one side which my mother owned she had her mortgage and her property taxes came out of her payment. The other side my significant other owns same situtation same bank same loan taxes taken out etc. Jim's mom died last year then shortly after her long time tenant died. There is one sewer/water bill and one property tax bill which is in both Jim's name and his mother's. So his 2 brothers want Jim to buy them out on his mother's side. So his side he owns 100% and his mother's side Jim owns 1/3. Her long term tenant died shortly after her and she was a chain smoker. Her side needs allot of work which the lawyers say you can deduct from price only damage from her smoking.So the question is if Jim has made his mortgage and tax payments on time for the past 18 years can the court force Jim to sell his property. Again it must be sold as one property because only one tax bill. And if we can't agree on a reasonable price on buying his brothers out and he doesn't want to sell can the court force him to sell? Wisconsin 6535-37 Rainbow Dr Greendale Wi 53129
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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11/15/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: JA Mentor
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Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The brothers unfortunately can force Jim to sell, because the law will not require them to continue owning property with someone if they do not wish to do so. However, their lawyer is wrong that he's only allowed to deduct her smoking from the total. If they wind up in court, the judge will order the property sold to a neutral third party for the fair market value. Meaning, based on what the property is worth in its current condition. The judge can order that repairs be done, and that the costs be deducted from the sales price - but that's going to be for whatever work is needed to do the sale. Usually, an appraiser or third-party realtor will be brought in to report on what work is needed, what it will cost, and how it will improve the sales price.

At the same time, when these lawsuits go to court, if one of the owners wants to buy out the others, and has the means to do so (even if that means getting a loan), it will usually be allowed. A judge would probably allow Jim to keep the property under the circumstances, as long as he can come up with the money to pay his brothers for 2/3 of equity in the former rental property. He may also be required to refinance the loan in his name only.

You're in a bit of a unique situation because you have two properties on one lot with one tax bill. Your significant other may want to contact a local real estate attorney to see if there is a way to split the properties into two, with separate sewer, water, and tax bills. That way, he would be able to keep his half no matter what happened to the other half.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
But a judge can force someone who has always been on time for 18 years to sell that's so unfair.
Real Estate Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes, it is unfair. And that's why I think the judge would probably allow him to buy them out - but also why you might want to talk to a local attorney about splitting the property.

There's a public policy in not forcing people to maintain bad relationships. When things devolve between property owners so much that they wind up in court, the judge wants to stop making these people maintain close contact. This is the same idea that allows for divorce when only one spouse wants it or for businesses to be dissolved at the request of one owner.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have done the maint on this property for 18 years at $3k she would owe $36k for the 18 year and my property taxes were taken out of my auto-pay every month and my mother took the full tax credit over 18 years it is about $54k I paid for property taxes.If this went to court do you think a judge would give me compensation for this. And yes I have evidence to support this.
I allowed her to take tax credit because she said she was willing me her entire side. Turns out she didn't change the will stating that.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I am a landscaper since 1969 and average yearly outside maint is about $3k per yer and yes I know I would owe 1/2.
Real Estate Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Unfortunately, no, it's not likely. A promise to leave someone a gift in a will is only enforceable if it's in writing. Without a specific written promise, you are joint owners, jointly responsible for paying the property taxes. The judge can't go back and order reimbursement without proof of a contract between you.

On top of that, the statute of limitations for breach of a contract is only 6 years. Even if you could prove some agreement, you'd never be able to reclaim taxes for the entire 18 year period. I'm sorry.

Please rate my answer positively, as this is the only way I get paid anything for the time spent answering these questions. If you're on a mobile device, you may have to scroll to the left. Thank you.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

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