There are many reasons why you might want to dissolve a co-ownership. Perhaps you want to sell a property, but you can’t get the full consent of the other party. You might want to eliminate any potential claims against the property from certain other persons, or to resolve technical defects in a title. Another common reason is wanting to transfer ownership of the property to an heir.
In order to dissolve a co-ownership, you would need the assistance of a lawyer. There are three major forms of co-ownership – tenancy in common, joint tenancy, and tenancy by the entirety—and dissolving these depends on specific state laws and country regulations.
Here’s an overview of the options you have to dissolve a co-ownership.
Filing a Quitclaim Deed
Filing a quitclaim deed is the simplest and most economical way to dissolve a co-ownership. This deed, once signed, provides that all the other co-owners will no longer have a claim on the property once co-ownership is dissolved. In a Quitclaim deed, there are no warranties as to the condition of title at the time of the transfer.
To do this, you should have an agreement in writing that the other owner is willing to relinquish the claim. Throughout the consultation, you can settle whether or not there will be an exchange of money and other details. A real estate lawyer can help you throughout the whole process.
The co-owner would sign over their rights and the title in the Quitclaim deed, which would be filed and recorded in the County Recorder’s Office. After that, the department records are updated and full ownership is assumed by one party.
Pursuing Right of Partition
In some unfortunate situations, the other owner might not agree to end the co-ownership. In these instances, another option can be available to tenants in common, divorced couples, and parties with joint tenancy with right of survivorship, among others. Tenants have the right of partition. Pursuing partition as an option is definitely more costly and less practical than a Quitclaim deed agreement.
The right of partition means the legal right to go to court and force a co-ownership to be dissolved if one of the parties want to end the tenancy. The assets would then be equally distributed to the tenants.
When dividing the property, disinterested third parties would be appointed by the court to determine its value. The property would then be divided equally. If it cannot be divided evenly, the co-owner who gets the better half would have to compensate the other for the privilege of the property.
Parties can also dissolve ownership entirely by selling the property. You would need to negotiate with the other party the terms of dissolution and sale. After accepting an offer from a buyer, both co-owners sign the deed or title transfer paperwork, and the co-ownership is then dissolved.
Know more about dissolving a co-ownership of a property. Contact a trusted real estate lawyer today!
Written by The VanMatre Law Firm, one of the top real estate attorneys in Columbia, MO.