Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Minnesota

Tenants in Common

4 people own a property in tenants in Common. 3 want to partition the property 1 does not. What are the options for the three?

Asked on 4/29/09, 4:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Steven Vatndal Law Office of Steven J. Vatndal

Re: Tenants in Common

Unless there is a written and enforceable prior agreement among the owners, the only way to compel the sale if one owner is unwilling is a legal action called "partition". In this legal action, the court first determines whether the propoerty can be physically divided without significant loss of value. If it can't be physically divided, the court generally appoints a real estate agent to sell the property. The court can set parameters on the sale (such as minimum price or deadline for sale), and generally relies on the real estate agents opinion of what constitutes a reasonable time to market the property. Once the property is sold, the court divides the net sales proceeds among the owners.

Generally, sale by partition does not produce the highest sale price. Often, once the reluctant owner understands that the other owners are commited to take action and that a lower sales price (as well as legal expenses) will result; the owner agrees to sell and avoid the legal action.\

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Answered on 4/29/09, 4:20 pm

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