When two or more persons or entities co-own real property, sharp disagreements can arise about whether property should be sold and/or how it should be managed. As real property is not always easily divided, a dispute may create serious problems. Fortunately, Arizona law offers a potential solution.
In a filed ‘partition action’, Arizona courts have the authority to divide, or partition, real estate. A partition action is the most effective way to resolve a dispute between co-owners of real property. Here, our Scottsdale real estate attorney explains the most important things that you need to know about partition actions in Arizona.
What is a Partition Action?
A partition action is a lawsuit. When parties have joint ownership of real property and they cannot agree on what to do with it, any one of those parties can file a partition action in an Arizona court to seek a remedy. In practice, there are two types of partition actions: partition in kind and partition by sale.
With a partition in kind, the property in question is actually divided. For example, if two parties owned an undeveloped plot of land, it may be possible to simply split it in half to create two wholly independent lots. Of course, in most cases, real estate cannot be equitably or effectively divided. That is why partition by sale—where the property is sold and the proceeds are split—is a more common remedy in Arizona.
When a party brings a partition action in Arizona, courts start by determining precise ownership. Indeed, a partition action may be brought concurrently with a quiet title action. As described by the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, a quiet title action is a legal proceeding used to determine the ownership of real property.
Arizona Law: Compelling Partition
If you are locked in a real estate dispute with a co-owner, you can take action to compel partition. Under Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-1211), all parties with an ownership interest in real property have the right to bring a partition action in the county where the real estate is located. When you bring a partition action, you should:
- Identify and describe the property in question;
- Name the owners of the property; and
- To the best of your ability, state each party’s ownership stake.
If you are considering filing a partition action in Arizona, you should consult with an experienced real estate attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to review your case and help you take the proper steps to protect your interests. In some cases, you may be able to reach a settlement with the other co-owners. In other cases, a partition action will be the best available option.
Call Our Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate Lawyer Today
At Provident Law®, our Arizona real estate attorney is an experienced, effective advocate for individuals, investors, businesses and institutions. If you have any questions about partition actions, we can help. To set up a strictly private consultation, please contact our law firm today. We serve clients throughout the State of Arizona.