Legal-Ease: Co-owning and separating real estate

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

A “partition” is the specific type of lawsuit designed for splitting up co-owned real estate. But you can avoid this lawsuit by managing co-ownership with a few other options. Creating an LLC, a limited liability company, may not seem like it has much to do with real estate but it will help establish guidelines for multiple owners. A¬†shared ownership agreement can also be used to manage conflict.

Due to various circumstances, many of us can find ourselves as co-owners of real estate. Sometimes, multiple siblings will inherit a house from a parent. In other instances, more than one person may purchase property with one or more other people. Of course, houses are often owned by married couples.

Generally, I frown on co-ownership of real estate, except for married couples. Frequently, co-ownership occurs without any problems whatsoever. In other instances, co-owners can argue about everything and anything involving the property, including whether to rent out the property, what rent to insist upon and how the rent proceeds should be divided. Seldom is property without need for improvement or maintenance, and co-owners can disagree about what is reasonable or appropriate in that context. Even for bare farmland, nutrient management and the need for subsurface drainage tile (informally called ditching) are bound to be evaluated differently by different co-owners.

Read more about co-ownership in Lee’s article in the Lima News, Legal-Ease: Co-owning and separating real estate

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Co-owning and separating real estate” by Lee R. Schroeder, October 15, 2016

Posted in General Law, Homeowner Law, Real Estate Law and tagged , , , , , .