Articles Tagged with co-tenants

underwood-tenant-convert-joint-tenant-300x300No, not unless they want to convert their own, singular interest into two or more shares. The reason for this is that grantors in a deed can only convey what they already own. If two tenant in common co-owners want to make themselves joint tenants, then they can collectively convey their interests to themselves in a deed. This works because, together, they own the whole property. 

But if one co-owner conveys the property to himself, and declares that he is now a joint tenant, that doesn’t work. Only half the property is being conveyed, and only one person is receiving the property. This does not meet the requirements of California’s Civil Code, which requires that a joint tenancy vest in two or more persons with equal shares. (Civ. Code § 683.) 

What is a Joint Tenancy?

underwood-tenant-coowner-squatter-300x300There are many relationships a person can have with real property. The main relationships where a person has some sort of claim to real property are those of a tenant, a co-owner, and a squatter. 

Each of these terms mean something different under California law. As a result, one’s relationship to the real property will affect one’s rights to that property, and what one can do with that property. 

What is a “Tenant”?

underwood-tenant-in-common-force-sale-300x300Can a Tenant in Common Force a Sale?

Yes. Tenants in common (TIC), as co-owners of real property are entitled to try and force a sale of that property by filing a lawsuit called a partition. Like many other aspects of the law, however, this is easier said than done. Many issues can arise during a partition suit, so having the right attorneys by your side can make all the difference. 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are well-versed in all forms of co-tenancy and partitions. The rights and duties that follow each of these ownership schemes are unique, making them a key issue in real estate litigation.

5192023-300x300In every property co-owned by two or more persons, there are common costs. Common costs are those costs for the property that are common to all owners or for the common benefit of all owners. In California, cotenants are required to pay for their portion of the common costs. Therefore, cotenants must pay for their share of expenses to operate and maintain the property. The portion of common costs one must pay depends on the ownership interest of that cotenant. 

At the Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with co-ownership and the requirements that follow. 

What are Common Expenses?

2152023-300x300A Marvin agreement is an implied or express contract made between two nonmarried cohabitants/partners regarding property rights during a romantic relationship. Generally, unmarried partners living together can enter a variety of contracts, including but not limited to pooling their earnings to share property equally, holding property as joint tenants or tenants in common, or keeping their earnings and property separate. (Marvin v. Marvin (1976) 18 Cal.3d 660, 674; Hill v. Westbrook’s Estate (1950) 95 Cal.App.2d 599; Della Zoppa v. Della Zoppa (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 1144.) If established, a Marvin agreement gives property rights to a romantic partner similar to that of a married individual. As such, a Marvin claim works similarly to a breach of contract claim but is ultimately based on equity. 

In order to prevail on a Marvin claim, a party must prove that an agreement existed between nonromantic partners to treat the property as theirs together. At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with Marvin agreements and their relationship with property rights. 

Where do Marvin Agreements come from?

Underwood-Blog-Images-5-300x300Ejectment is an action brought by a party seeking to recover a possessory interest or claim of title in a piece of real property. Typically, an ejectment action arises when a titleholder to a piece of property has been wrongfully excluded or withheld from the property. Therefore, ejectment applies only to those cases where an individual actually has possessory title to the subject property.

Ejectment is a possessory action used to recover possession of land or a piece of real property to a plaintiff in possession who has been wrongfully ousted from the property by the defendant. (Fuller v. Fuller (1917) 176 Cal. 637, 638, 169 P. 369].) In simpler terms, ejectment allows a party to retake possession of real property that the party was wrongfully removed from.

A claim of ejectment is a common issue in disputes over the real property where the parties are seeking to establish who holds title to or an interest in the subject property. Specifically, under Code of Civil Procedure section 3375, an individual who is entitled to specific real property may recover by a judgment for its possession or an order requiring a defendant to deliver possession of the property. (CCP § 3375.) At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with ejectment actions and the requirements needed to prevail on an ejectment claim. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-2-300x300American law has its roots in the laws of England. As such, many of the laws still on the books in the 21st Century depend on what English judges thought prior to our War for Independence began in 1776. Because our modern laws go back centuries since before the United States was a country, we should care about how our legal terms were originally understood as they may implicate a judge’s decision today. The most important of all the English Judges who influenced our modern laws was most likely Sir William Blackstone. 

Blackstone’s 1765 work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, is his most famous legal treatise, forming the backbone of common law analysis as modern lawyers understand it today. Without his efforts centuries ago, our conceptions of property, individual rights, and governmental authority would not be the same. His works remain cited even now in judicial decisions at all levels, including the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Blackstone’s comments on property law are particularly striking, for they bear the foundational ideas now found in our statutes governing real estate transactions, estate types, property rights, and ownership disputes. His analysis of tenancies in common and joint tenancy is so similar to our own California statutes that they warrant their own discussion. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-300x300A “waste” claim is a means of recovering damages when a tenant on real property does substantial damage to the property itself. Most often, a waste claim arises when a person renting property causes damage while living there. But a waste claim isn’t restricted to landlords and tenants. It applies to nearly all situations where two or more people have some sort of interest in the common property.

On top of being their own cause of action that can be asserted in a lawsuit, waste claims can also potentially be raised in partition actions during the accounting stage. This allows property owners to approach the issue in the manner they see fit. Yet, understanding the contours of a waste claim is not as simple as it may seem. There are situations where damage to property is justified, meaning parties cannot always recover damages for the seemingly unjust actions of their co-owner(s).

In these situations, having an experienced real estate attorney at your side can make all the difference. The Underwood Law Firm encounters waste claims with regularity and is well-equipped with legal expertise to help guide those with property interests through this unique legal issue.

Underwood-Blog-Images-5-300x300General partnerships, and their “joint venture” cousins, are composed of partners seeking to make a profit in a business venture. But things don’t always work out. Often, a once promising endeavor breaks down due to mismanagement and miscommunication. In these situations, partners may feel the urge to get out with whatever equity they can. Usually, it isn’t that easy. 

The Revised Uniform Partnership Act allows partners to dissociate from their partnerships whenever they want. Yet this withdrawal can sometimes cause serious damage, especially when the partner trying to leave was a major source of capital. For that reason, the California Corporations Code provides for penalties when the dissociation is “wrongful.” In the end, getting out of a partnership isn’t so much about doing it the “right” way as it is about avoiding the “wrong” way to dissociate.

What is dissociation? 

Underwood-Blog-Images-2-300x300Yes. Co-owners of property are entitled to certain rights, namely, the right to possess and use the property as they see fit. But sometimes, things do not work out with the other owners. 

Heirs to an estate can bicker, business relationships can fall through, and family dynamics can fall apart. This may result in the rightful owner of the property being ousted by the other(s). In these situations, finding the right real estate lawyer to assist in the process of recovering possession is crucial. The Underwood Law Firm, P.C. is familiar with these sensitive matters and has the legal acumen to help you recover possession of your property. 

Do cotenants each have a right to occupy their property?

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