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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25486
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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In UK property law, can a minority (one-third) owner of a house

Resolved Question:

In UK property law, can a minority (one-third) owner of a house force the majority owner (two-thirds) to sell the house and so have to move out of the house?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 5 years ago.
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  1. Is there any trust in place that gives any part a right of occupation of the property please?
  2. Can you advise the relationship between the owners and whether you have any children with either of them or are married to either of them?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
1. I do not believe any trust exists regarding the property.
2. The property is jointly owned by a brother, who is single and lives there, and his sister, who is married and lives in her marital home. The brother owns two-thirds of the property, and the sister one-third. This differential was set up in their father's will and is the only legal document relating to the property. When the father died, his widow lived on at the home and was joined by the son who moved back home to look after her when she needed full-time care. After the mother died 13 years ago, the son had the house valued and approached the sister offering her a sum equating to on-third to buy her out. She has never replied to this, but in September 2011 has asked her brother to sort things out. He is worried that she might be able to force a sale of the property.
Expert:  Joshua replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. anyone can evidence a beneficial interest in a property, namely anyone can evidence that they are entitled to any of the equity in the property, can bring an action under the trust's land and appointment of Trustees act to force the sale of a property or for one or more of the joint owners to buy that individuals share out.

Ideally joint owners will be able to agree matters between the but ultimately if an agreement cannot be reached an application must be made to the County Court under the above legislation to force joint owners to take one of the above actions. There is no concept of majority voting or suchlike with joint ownership of property and only unilateral decisions will be valid in terms of making decisions legally with regards XXXXX XXXXX of property. In the event of disagreement and a unanimous decision not be able to be reached, the only option for a dissenting co-owner or co-owners to fight the County Court for an order that the remaining owners either buy out their share or property is sold in the open market
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