Getting out of a Joint Tennancy Situation that has gone Sour

Getting out of a Joint Tennancy Situation that has gone Sour

As persons living in the Los Angeles area, we are all aware of the high cost of living and high price tags attached to homes for sale. Often, an individual’s income does not provide sufficient funds to cover living expenses, let alone the purchase of a home. Consequently, persons who desire to avoid the money pit that is rent, but cannot afford to purchase a home on their own, frequently agree with a relative or friend to purchase property together and become co-owners.

For many, the foregoing arrangement brings fruitful results—paying rent is avoided, equity is built, and pride is attained though home ownership. Unfortunately, however, instances arise in which a dispute materializes between the co-owners. In such a scenario, two persons are left with having common ownership of property when neither person wants anything to do with the other. Often, the parties also cannot agree on how to sever their common ownership. In such cases, a suit for partition is a viable avenue to deal with the issue.

A suit for partition allows those who own property as joint tenants, or tenants in common to put an end to the tenancy. A partition suit results in vesting in each of the owners title to some definite part of the property owned in common so that each person can do as he/she wants with his/her separate estate. Free alienability of property results from a partition action in that it precludes any one cotenant from objecting to the transfer of another cotenant’s share. All conflicting claims between the parties and arising out of their relation to the property to be partitioned may be resolved. Parties may assert any title they have, legal or equitable, and the court will decree what is equitable and proper. A partition proceeding can bring finality to a transaction that unfortunately went sour somewhere along the way.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine American Bar Association for 2005. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail; visit at

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