Partition of Property

By  //  June 25, 2021

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Think of two brothers who choose to move out of their parent’s home and start independent lives. They agree to have their apartment, but to achieve that, they must pool their financial resources to afford a two-bedroom apartment conveniently located near their workplaces.

As time goes, one of the brothers begins seeing someone and chooses to start a family with his partner. 

The other brother intends to hold on to the two-bedroom apartment as an asset that could offer capital gains several years later when the apartment can fetch better money in the market. So, how do these brothers resolve their different goals, particularly if they cannot agree? The answer to this question involves applying the court for an order based on the Partition of Property Act. 

Partition of Property Act (PPA)

Serious co-ownership disputes involving real estate assets (such as land) in British Columbia are usually resolved according to the provisions of the Partition of Property Act (PPA). It allows one or more people who are co-owners of a property to apply to the British Columbia Supreme Court for an order that could force a sale or partition of the property. 

According to PPA, a person who has a minimum of 50 percent interest in a real estate asset is entitled to an order for the sale of the asset. However, this is subject to co-ownership agreement that may limit such rights. Note that partition of property in accordance with the PPA is a complicated issue. In this case, it is best to consult with an experienced real estate lawyer Vaughan to know your legal options. 

To prevent such a sale, you must convince the court that there is no reason to sell the property. Other potential reasons for delaying or not permitting the sale include extreme financial hardship or reasonably chilled expectation that this asset wouldn’t be sold for a specific period. Also, another way to delay the sale is to present an actual written agreement that governs the terms of the property ownership that provides a basis for not selling it.

Implications of using PPA 

Resorting to Supreme Court application pursuant to the PPA is the last option when the property co-owners can’t agree. However, there are legal expenses associated with this process. A lawsuit might have an adverse impact on the relationship between the property co-owners. So, before you choose to pursue this option, it is essential to consider its consequential effect. In extreme cases where the property co-owners are involved in a deep conflict regarding the property, it would help seek a court-ordered resolution. 

Seek legal help

In most cases, people create agreements such as property co-ownership in good faith. As time goes by, changes happen, which also affect the co-owners differently. That means the parties involved may start disagreeing on various aspects of the asset, such as its sale. In this case, it would help to consult with a lawyer who can help you and your partner find a peaceful solution.