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  • Kevin O'Sullivan

Partition Action: Bringing a Lawsuit to Force a Co-Owner to Sell Property

Updated: Jan 8

Partition: Forcing a Co-Owner to Sell Property

When two or more people own the same property, one of the owners can force a sale of the jointly owned property via a partition action or lawsuit. If you co-own property such as a home, building or vacant land with someone in New York and have come to find this co-ownership situation unbearable, undesirable or unaffordable you can under New York State's RPAPL Article 9 Partition law bring a partition action and force your co-owner to either sell the property or buy out your interest.

While many individuals are unaware of this process it is an option for those who can no longer tolerate or afford co-owning property with another person. The courts will not require you to give a reason as to why you want to sell your interest in the property.

A typical case that we handle involves multiple beneficiaries of an estate who all inherit the same home. At some point one or more of the co-owners wants to sell the house while another co-owner, often the person living in the house for free does not want to sell. To force the sale of the property a party will need to start a partition action.

Another scenario we often see involves family members or business partners who purchase a home or building together but after the purchase they disagree about the management of the property or one party wishes to sell while the other does not.

While it may be necessary to start a partition lawsuit even after the case is started the parties can still through their attorneys agree to sell the property without a final court order and divide the proceeds fairly. In this type of settlement it will be necessary to have a binding settlement agreement drafted by your attorney to ensure that the parties follow through on the settlement terms.

There is no reason why you should be denied the right to sell your own property. With over 40 years of experience, the law firm of O'Sullivan & Zacchea has brought partition actions on behalf of our clients throughout New York City, Long Island and Westchester. While it is our goal is to have the co-owners come to an agreement on the sale of the the property, if an agreement cannot be reached we will fight to seek an order from the Court to force the sale of the property to ensure that our clients receive their fair share of its value.

If you own real estate and your co-owner does not feel the same way you do about selling it please contact Kevin O'Sullivan at (718) 713-3499 for a free consultation to discuss your options. You can also contact Mr. O'Sullivan by email at:

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