People acquire joint ownership of a property in many different ways. Maybe you and your best friend bought a cabin together so that your families could alternate weekends away at the property. Maybe you and your siblings jointly inherited the home where your parents lived in their golden years. Perhaps you bought a house with several co-workers to treat it as an income-generating rental property.
Whatever the situation, joint ownership comes with as many liabilities as it does benefits. While you have other people to share the costs of maintaining the property and the physical obligations for its upkeep, you also have to reach an agreement with those other people when you want to do anything with the property.
Those who jointly own real estate may eventually discover that they need to file a partition action if they no longer agree with co-owners about what to do with the property.
What is a partition action?
A partition action is a kind of special proceeding available in North Carolina. One owner who shares an interest in real estate with other people requests that the courts partition the property so that they can take action with their share of ownership.
Partition actions can have numerous different results depending on the requests of the owners and the type of property. If you share a 40-acre parcel with three other people, a partition action might involve the judge separating it into four 10-acre parcels. Other times, when you cannot divide the property evenly, such as when jointly own a house, a partition action may involve in order to sell the property or to refinance it so that some of the owners can buy out others.
When is the partition action necessary?
Usually, you don’t end up owning property jointly unless you already have a close relationship with someone. Unfortunately, just because you are close with someone does not mean that you will always agree about the right decisions for the property that you own together.