How to File a Real Estate Partition in Florida

Real Estate Partition in Florida

When property owners in Florida cannot agree on how and whether to sell their properties, they can use the legal process of Real Estate Partition in Florida. This is usually a last-resort option.

If you are in a situation in which property co-owners cannot agree on the sale of the property in Florida, you may want to hire a lawyer who specializes in Real Estate Partition in Florida.

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Why do property owners seek Florida Partitions for their homes?

Owners can divide a property for many reasons. These reasons are usually the same as the original reason for which the homeowners bought the property. These reasons include:

Relationship Problems

The status of the relationship will determine whether a partition should be used.

  • Spouses. If a couple cannot agree on how to dispose of their property, they are usually going through a separation. The family court can order the sale of property in divorce cases.
  • Non-spouses. Couples who buy a home without marrying cannot use divorce to settle their differences. If the couple cannot agree on how to proceed with the house, one of them, or the owner if it was not a couple that bought the home, may use the partition process to force the sale – if no other agreement can be reached.

Investment Disputes

Some individuals or companies buy Florida homes to invest. The home is either bought with the intention of repairing it, then selling it, or the owner decides to keep it and sell it later. If the parties cannot agree on how the property will be used or fixed, and how it will be sold, a partition may be the solution.

Estate Disputes

When the second parent passes away, it is common for the parent to leave the house to their children or other heirs like nieces and/or nephews. If no child wants to keep the house, then the decision must be made on how to sell it.

If there is disagreement among the heirs about what to do with the house, one of them may try to force the sale by using partition.

Partition actions must be filed in the county of Florida where the property is located. Most often, partitions are used when there is joint ownership between two or more individuals. The main reason for asking for a partition in most cases is because one of the co-owners is not paying home expenses or taxes.

Pre-partition options

If one of the joint owners refuses to maintain the property, and instead wants to live there rent-free then the other(s) have little choice but to sell the house through a separation action.

A buy-out is often discussed by joint owners. A buy-out is when one owner pays another owner to purchase the other’s ownership interest.

The owner of the property who wants to keep it must have enough money to pay off the other owner. Or, they can obtain a mortgage and loan to pay them.

Many times the co-owners agree that a sale is necessary, but there may be other disagreements:

  • The two parties may not agree on the best time to sell their property
  • The proceeds of a sale may be handled differently by the parties

Bonardi & Uzdavinis LLP is a firm of real estate attorneys that can help owners who are able to agree on the best way to sell their property. Lawyers review the sale agreement and guide sellers through the closing.

In the event that owners are unable to agree, they can choose between two remedies: partition in kind or partition by sale.

The Partition Process: The Complaint

The Florida Partition Process must adhere to the Florida Statutes, Chapter 64 entitled “Partition of Property.” The complaint must include the following according to statute:

  • “A description of lands for which partition is requested”
  • The plaintiff must provide “the names and addresses of all the joint tenants, tenants-in-common, coparceners or other persons who are interested in the land, according to his best knowledge.”
  • The quantity of each individual”
  • Additional relevant issues that may help the court better understand the issue

In the complaint, it should be noted that certain items, such as co-owners’ residences, are unknown.

The Partition Process: The Initial Court Review and the Commissioner Panel.

The court will then determine if the action for Real Estate Partition in Florida is valid. They will check to see who the owners are and if the petitioner is authorized to file a claim. They will determine if partitioning is the right remedy.

Owners or the judge, if they cannot agree, can then appoint three commissioners who will manage the Real Estate Partition in Florida process. The commissioners inspect the property and examine the issues. They can appoint a person to inspect the property. They make a recommendation for the judge. The three commissioners ensure that there will not be a tie.

Owners who disagree with the findings of the commissioner in a Real Estate Partition in Florida may file an objection within 10 days after the report of the Commissioner. The judge will decide if there is merit to the exceptions.

The judge will appoint a new person to sell the property once the judge has approved the report of the commissioners and/or resolved an exception.

What are the types of real estate partitions in Florida?

Two types of partitioning actions exist:

  • Partition in kind. It is possible, but rare, to divide the property into equal shares for each owner. If the property is only land, this may be possible. A physical division is not usually possible if there is a house, condo or other home residence on a piece of land.
  • Sale of property divided into parts. The property is usually sold and proceeds are divided. The judge will usually appoint someone to sell the property at a public auction. They will not use the usual process of listing and then negotiating a property with buyers.

Owners should resolve disputes as soon as possible. Auction sales are usually cheaper than traditional sales. After a judge has approved the division, owners may want to consider selling their property again by agreement. A sale by agreement is usually more expensive than an auction.

How are the proceeds divided in a Florida Petition

Prior to dividing the proceeds, court costs, commissioner’s fees and fees for the person who is appointed to manage the sale must be paid. Before the proceeds are divided, the court costs, the commissioner’s fees and the fees of the person appointed to handle the sale are paid.

The court can also adjust the amount owed based on the person who paid for the maintenance of the property or for repairs.

The net proceeds are divided according to the ownership interest of each seller. If the net proceeds total $160,000, and there are only four owners, then each owner receives $40,000.

What a Florida Partition Attorney Can Do for You

A Florida real estate attorney experienced in property division can assist with:

  • Find out if a settlement or buyout is possible
  • Can file a lawsuit for you in a divorce case
  • Can I represent the seller at a private sale?
  • Can you explain the pros and cons of partition action?
  • Work with professionals to determine whether a division in kind is feasible
  • I will file any necessary exceptions
  • Documentation of repairs and maintenance can be helpful.
  • Existence of a property interest

Florida Partition Lawyer

If you are in a situation with co-owners who do not prioritize your interests, you may need to pursue a separation.

Our team of Florida real estate attorneys at Bonardi & Uzdavinis, LLP, understands your challenges and can provide you with compassionate advice.

Every property owner deserves individualized attention and legal solutions tailored to their needs. We will diligently defend your rights during the entire partition process.

Call us today at (813) 540-2019 to get started.

You can also use our online contact form Request an appointment. We will listen to you, learn about your situation, and help to find a solution.

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