Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Washington

"real estate partnership"

One of the owners hasn't lived in the house for several months. It is a single family dwelling and both owners names are on the title and mortgage. The partnership has lasted five years. The owner living at the residence is stalling.

Question: According to Washington State law is there a time statue or penalty for the partner not living in the house? If so, how long?

Asked on 10/13/98, 5:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence Glosser Law Office of Lawrence S. Glosser

Re: Owners as Tenants in Common

Your question does not really give enough facts to answer fully, however, here is some general information.

If both owners are on the title, they are probably tenants in common. Tenants in common have equal rights to occupy the property, and one tenant may not exclude another tenant from the property. If one tenant is using the property exclusively, that tenant may owe rent to the non-occupying tenant.

If, ownership is by a "partnership" each partner has a fiduciary duty to the other partners, and may not take actions that are adverse to other partner's interest. Therefore, even if there is a dispute, the "partners" cannot act in ways that are not in the other partner's interest.

This case may require an action for partition of the property, and dissolution of the partnership. In such an action, the court orders the property sold and the proceeds allocated according to each owners' respective interests.

If you are in western Washington, and desire more specific help, feel free to call me.

Lawrence Glosser

Law Office of Lawrence S. Glosser

1300 Seattle Tower, 1218 Third Avenue

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Answered on 12/29/98, 2:16 am

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