There are different types of co-ownership in Florida, such as tenancy in common, joint ownership, and tenancy by the entirety. If one of the co-owners disagrees with the use or management of a property, it is possible to file for partition.
Is it possible to ask a court to partition a residential property (home) in Florida? Keep reading to find out.
What is Partition? – Understanding the Concept
A partition action is a legal process filed with a court to force the sale of jointly owned property. Usually applied in cases involving real estate, a partition may also apply for other types of assets.
Florida Statutes §64.022 provides that “partition shall be brought in any county where the lands or any part thereof lie which are the subject matter of the action.” There are two types of partition – partition in kind and partition by sale.
A case of partition in kind happens when the court divides the legal title to property among the owners using the principles of equitability. Hence, each owner must own a fraction of the property.
On the other hand, a partition by sale happens when the court orders the sale of a property at auction and distributes the proceeds among the co-owners. In such cases, each owner may receive their fair share of the amount obtained in the sale.
Florida courts tend to order a partition by sale when the judges conclude that a partition in kind would not be fair to all the owners.
In Which Cases is a Partition Appropriate? – An Honest Overview
The mere existence of a disagreement among co-owners does not justify a partition action. Depending on the case, resolving a dispute between co-owners is a matter of finding the reason behind the disagreement.
One owner may desire to sell a property for an immediate profit, but another owner may want to wait for the asset’s appreciation. Other common disagreements involved in co-ownership include:
- Disputes based on the ownership shares of an inherited property
- Disputes regarding the improvement of a property
- Disputes regarding the purpose of a property
- Disputes on whether to pay off a mortgage debt or refinance the property
Who May File a Partition Action in Florida?
Florida Statutes §64.031 provides that “the action may be filed by any one or more of several joint tenants, tenants in common, or coparceners, against their cotenants, coparceners, or others interested in the lands to be divided.”
In Florida, the law permits either a natural person or a corporate entity to file a partition action. Please note that partition does not apply in cases wherein a property is owned by a married couple as tenants by the entireties.
Florida Statutes §64.022 specifies that “partition shall be brought in any county where the lands or any part thereof lie which are the subject matter of the action.”
When the court orders a partition by sale, the judge may order the payment of the costs and fees associated with the process from the sale proceeds. Additionally, any property taxes due at the time of the sale must be paid from the proceeds.