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Partition of Real Estate in Virginia

It can happen that you may find yourself suddenly the joint owner of real estate with one or more other people. This will often happen when real estate is inherited. If the now joint owners of the property are unable to agree on how to manage things, chaos can ensure.

It is not uncommon that each of the joint owners (often siblings who inherit property from a parent) have different plans for the property. One owner may want to sell the property immediately 'as-is.' Another may want to fix up the property and rent it out. It is also possible that at least one of the owners may be living in the property.

In circumstances like this, the best solution is typically a process called partition. This process is defined in Virginia Code 8.01-81.

If the parcel of land is large enough and it can be done "practicably," the parcel can be divided into smaller parcels, with each smaller parcel given to a separate joint owner. This is referred to as partition in kind or sometimes a division in kind.

However, this may not be reasonable for all types of property, like a single family home, for example. In those cases, property may be sold and the proceeds divided. In some cases, one party may have contributed more to expenses associated with maintenance, upkeep or improvement. If the equities in such circumstances, dictate, property can even be alloted (given) to one or more of the owners.


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