The Purpose of Joint Property Ownership in Vancouver

Real estate is among the most valuable assets that the average person will purchase in his or her lifetime. For many, buying a piece of land, a house or a condo involves the pooling of resources with another person. This relatively common scenario can often allow people to purchase real estate that is significantly more valuable than they would be able to on their own, but also puts all parties involved at some degree of risk.

The purchase of real estate can involve a long-term financial commitment but circumstances often change over time. Co-owners may start families, need capital for a business, or simply want to sell the property. When this occurs, there can be a significant conflict if the other co-owner refuses to agree to a sale of the property and the parties cannot agree on the terms of a buyout of one co-owner’s interest in the property by the other co-owner.  In these cases, the BC Partition of Property Act allows one co-owner to apply to the Supreme Court of B.C. for an order to force a sale of the property.  In disputes involving larger rural properties not subject to subdivision controls, it may also be possible to apply for an order for the partition of the property into two parcels.

How Does a Sale under the Partition of Property Act Work?

Anyone who has an interest in the property including joint tenants, tenants in common, mortgagees, and creditors with liens may seek an order from the Court for either its sale or partition. Section 6 of the Act provides that if the co-owner wishing to sell has a minimum one half interest in the property, the Court must grant the order unless the other co-owner convinces the Court that there is a “good reason” not to order a sale or partition.

The Courts have held that the party opposing the order must demonstrate “significant hardship” to successfully resist the application.[2]  If the applicant has less than a one half interest in the property, the Court has a broader discretion to consider whether in all the circumstances it is appropriate to order a sale of the property

Contact a Vancouver land ownership rights lawyer today to schedule a consultation

If you are involved in a dispute over land and you are seeking to either force a sale of the land or resist an application by a co-owner to force the sale of land, you should contact an experienced property law lawyer for assistance.   To schedule a consultation with one of our land ownership rights lawyers, call McLarty Wolf today at 604-687-2277 or send us an email through our online contact form.


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