Many people in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia choose to purchase real estate with another person, usually for investment purposes. Family members can also find themselves jointly owning land as a result of an inheritance or a gift made as a result of an estate plan. One of the important aspects of joint or co-ownership of land is that all of the owners must agree on how to deal with the property so effectively each owner has a ‘veto’ power over important decisions, such as whether or not to sell it.
Unfortunately, whenever multiple people are involved in making decisions, disputes can arise. In cases where these disputes cannot be resolved through informal negotiation or compromise, a party may proceed under the Partition of Property Act. That statute provides that if co-owners cannot agree, one of the owners can apply to the Supreme Court for an order requiring the sale of the property. In some other cases, if the property is large enough and municipal laws permit it, an order can also be sought for the partition of the property into smaller parcels. Some examples of property owner disputes that may require a court application under the Partition of Property Act include:
- One party wishes to sell the property in order to liquidate their equity while the other wants to hold onto it
- One party wishes to rent the property out but the other wishes to occupy it
- One party wishes to expand the existing structure or structures on the property while the other wants to preserve it as is
- One party wishes to use the property for some commercial pursuit while the other does not
When Should Property Owners Speak with a Lawyer?
Of course, there is no need to call a lawyer the moment that you learn that a co-owner of your property and you may disagree about a proposed use or sale. In many cases, simply discussing it may result of bringing the other party over to your side or resulting in a compromise. If, however, a co-owner seems like he or she is going to frustrate your efforts regardless of your attempts to discuss it, you should speak with a lawyer about your legal options.
Contact a Vancouver Landownership Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Options
If you are involved with in a dispute regarding jointly-owned real estate and believe that a partition or sale of the property may help resolve your dispute, you should call a lawyer as soon as you can. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call McLarty Wolf today at 877-230-5383.