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Partition of Real Estate

In Virginia, real estate can be owned by more than one person.  This situation commonly arises when someone inherits real estate with other heirs or beneficiaries.  Unfortunately, if the joint owners cannot agree on how to manage or use the property, joint ownership can lead to a difficult and untenable situation.  A joint owner may also simply not wish to own a partial interest in the real estate, but, rather, may wish to sell their interest.  In either case, we can help.

Virginia law allows any joint owner of real estate to file a partition suit in the jurisdiction where the real estate is located.  Once the partition suit is filed, if any of the joint owners wish to purchase the property they will be given the chance to do so either at a price agreed upon with the other joint owners, or, absent an agreed upon price, at a price set by the Court.  Assuming that none of the joint owners wish to purchase the property and that the property cannot be fairly divided among the joint owners, the Court will appoint a special commissioner to sell the property. The special commissioner will typically list the property with a real estate broker.  Should the property not sell during the listing period, the special commissioner may ask the Court for permission to auction the property to the highest bidder.  After accounting for the expenses of the sale, the remaining proceeds of the sale will be distributed among the joint owners in proportion to their respective interests in the property.

We have successfully negotiated resolutions among joint owners of real estate, or, absent a resolution, have successfully litigated partition suits.  If you find yourself in a difficult situation as a result of owning real estate with others or if you simply wish to sell your ownership interest, please contact Scott Reichle, Esq. at (757) 223-4536 or Jason Messersmith, Esq. at (757) 223-4548 for a consultation.

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12350 Jefferson Avenue
Suite 300
Newport News, VA 23602

Local: (757) 223-4500
Toll-Free: (800) 459-1881