Real estate buyers frequently choose to jointly buy and hold title to Florida real estate. Benefits of joint ownership include sharing property expenses, management, and ownership. But when co-owners disagree, Florida law provides a solution in the form of a lawsuit for partition.
Partition of real property is defined as the severance of undivided and coexisting interests in real property. Under Florida Statute Chapter 64, a partition action may be brought by “any one or more of several joint tenants, tenants in common, or coparceners, against their cotenants, coparceners, or others interested in the lands to be divided.” The partition lawsuit is filed in the county where the property to be partitioned is located.
The general rule is that each cotenant is ultimately liable for his or her proportionate share of the obligations and expenses of real property. By statute, owners must also share the costs and attorneys’ fees associated with the partition of real estate. Each party’s percentage of ownership is used to determine their proportionate share.
If a co-owner makes improvements to a property which enhances its value, the cotenant paying for such improvements can obtain part of the proceeds attributable to the improvements in excess of the share otherwise due. This can be determined by getting an appraisal or valuation of the improvements that enhanced the real property’s value.