In order to legally partition a property, you must bring a proceeding in court that forces the physical division or sale of the property and divides the proceeds of the sale between the joint owners. In some instances, it can be an absolute right of a co-owner to partition jointly held property, but in other cases it is contingent on a number of factors.
Do you plan to own property jointly? Do you already own property jointly? If so, it is absolutely necessary that you have a thorough understanding of how partition works and what your rights as a co-owner are to insist on the right of partition or fight the right of partition, depending on the case. Not being aware of the potential consequences can be disastrous.
A co-owner of jointly held property can seek a partition. There are two methods: the parties can voluntarily agree to a partition with legal assistance or a co-owner can file a partition action to get a judicial ruling on the division of property. A voluntary partition will result in significantly less litigation than a judicial partition, but the parties will still need to work with experienced New York partition action lawyers to ensure their interests are being represented during the process and that their property rights are protected during the partition negotiation process with other co-owners.
New York law states that there are two means of partitioning property: partition in kind or partition by sale. A partition in kind carves out a section of the land so each party has their own part of the physical property and an undivided interest. A partition by sale requires that the property be sold at auction. The co-owners of the property then divide the proceeds of the sale. A partition by sale is more common in the state of New York because most cases involve a piece of property that includes a structure and it would be extremely difficult to provide a physical split of a building or home.
A New York partition action must divide the premises in accordance with the type of tenancy in place when the parties involved originally took ownership. There are two main types of tenancy in New York: tenancy in common and joint tenants. Tenancy in common means that the parties can each own property with interests in accordance with their contribution to the original property purchase. Joint tenants are two or more tenants owning the property in equal shares. In some cases, joint tenants may have rights of survivorship.
When joint tenants petition for a property partition, they must divide the property equally between co-owners. When tenants in common petition for a property partition, they can divide the property in accordance with the percentage each of them contributed to the property purchase or in accordance with contractual agreements already in place regarding percentage of ownership or governing ownership.
If you have questions about property partition in New York or if you need to find out how to end a co-ownership relationship and be compensated for your share of the property, please get in touch with one of the experienced real estate attorneys at Aronow Law PC. We can assist you in determining if filing for a partition action in New York is the best way to protect your property rights.