When two or more people own property together and cannot agree about its use, Florida law provides that a party may file a partition action. These types of situations are common when business investors own property jointly, the property is passed by inheritance to multiple heirs, or when assets are divided during a divorce. Here are some considerations regarding partition actions:
Florida Law requires that the partition action be filed in the county where the property is located or is partially located. The action may be filed by one or more of any several joint tenants, tenants in common, or coparceners, against their cotenants, coparceners, or others interested in the lands to be divided. The party or parties filing the complaint must describe the land, and identify the other owners, tenants, coparceners, and other interested parties and their percentage of ownership. After considering the available evidence and information, the court will issue a judgment as to the rights and interests of the parties and may order a partition of the property or its sale.
In Florida, when parties co-own land, they have the right to have it divided among themselves and the other co-owners. When the land does not have improvements such as a home or other structure, the court may divide it equally between each owner. When part of the property has a dwelling or an income-producing asset, it may not be possible to divide the land equitably. If that is the case, the court could order that the land be sold and that the owners divide the proceeds equally with each sharing the tax, insurance, and other expenses associated with the sale and property. In Florida, partition sales can be public or private.
Ideally, when co-owners disagree about what they need to do with their jointly-owned property, the parties will be able to negotiate rather than resorting to judicial intervention. Although Florida law outlines these actions, property owners are taking a chance when they decide to allow a court to decide what to do with their land. When a property owner is considering filing for a partition, it is important to discuss the situation with an experienced Florida real estate attorney who can review the matter and explain the available options and alternatives.
At Rabideau Klein, Guy Rabideau, Esq. and David E. Klein, Esq. are Florida Board-Certified Real Estate Attorneys with extensive experience handling Florida partition issues. If you have questions regarding your Florida property interest, Contact Rabideau Klein today.