Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania

Partitioning Real Estate

I co-own a rental property house with a partner who lives in one of the units. We no longer get along. My partner has been saying that he will buy me out for about 3.5 years and has done nothing. His credit is terrible and he has no substantial income. Also, about 7 months ago he was caught growing marijuana in the house. At first, I was also charged but then I got the charges dropped after spending about $15,000. I alone have been making the mortgage payments since then. I now have more money put into the house than he does. We do not have a partnership agreement, and I am certain he will not cooperate in selling the house. I would like to find out: 1) how to start partitioning the property; 2) if the fact that I have more invested than my partner gives me majority control over the business, and 3) if the criminal activity and the cost it had on me would have any relavance here. Would it be possible to force the sale of the house, get compenstaed for the payments I have been making, and also take his interest in the house to compensate for the damages his criminal activity caused me?

Asked on 1/09/07, 1:13 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Gerald Hershenson Law Office of Gerald M. Hershenson
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Re: Partitioning Real Estate

The questions you raise are quite complex. You require an attorney to review your options. A legal action in partition must be instituted. The criminal activity and you paying the mortgage may be helpful to you. The bottom line is it sounds like your partner has no income to satisfy any judgment. Bring the legal action and negotiate to buy out your partner.

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1/09/07, 1:21 pm
Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
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Re: Partitioning Real Estate

By starting a partition action, you could accomplish your goal. Either the partner will finally deal with you and buy you out if he can, or, if he can't, will permit you to buy him out for a nominal sum.

If he doesn't agree, a court would order a partition sale, and, providing that you are able to prove the disparate amounts that you and the partner have invested in the property, plus, possibly, your costs to get rid of the drug charges against you, as a result of your law suit would order in what proportions you and the partner would share in the net proceeds of sale.

You should consult with an experienced real estate attorney to assist you with this.

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1/09/07, 5:12 pm

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