The changes made to the partition law are designed to deal with family members who co-own property and one family member wants to sell the property while the other does not. The aim is to ensure that family members who co-own property are not taken advantage of by property speculators who may buy one family member's interest in order to start a partition action and force the other co-owner to sell their interest in the property at a below market value.

The big three changes to the Partition law  are:

(1) The court will require that family members who are co-owners of property negotiate in good faith to see if one owner can buy out the other owner.

(2) If the parties cannot agree on the value of the property the court will seek to have the property appraised.

(3) If the parties cannot reach a settlement and the court does order a sale by partition then the property will now be sold on the open market with the assistance of a real estate broker rather than at auction. This change was made in order to get the highest value for the property.

As noted in our previous blog article (Partition: Forcing the Sale of Jointly Owned Property). When two or more parties jointly own property and one party wishes to sell the property while the other does not the party wishing to sell may file a lawsiut seeking a partition of the property. This type of lawsuit has become more popular as property values have increased and more siblings inherit property that they want to sell but that their siblings/co-owenrs do not. While you still have the right to force the sale of jointly owned property, the state legislature wants to make sure that family members have the option to first buy out one another's interest before selling the property to a third party.

If you own property with another person and have reached an impasse with a co-owner you may need to start a partition action. Please feel free to call Kevin O'Sullivan at (718) 713-3499 for a free consultation. You can also contact Mr. O'Sullivan via e-mail at: kosullivan@ozatlaw.com.