Articles Tagged with tenancy in partnership

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-1-300x300The Partition of Real Property Act (PRPA) is an exciting new development in real estate law only recently passed by the California Legislature. Its effects are far-reaching, and its changes to the procedure for partitions cannot be understated. 

At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with partitions and the complexities such lawsuits can entail. With the PRPA and its provisions set to go into effect early in 2023, our attorneys are already keeping track of the way it will change to partition law so that we can best assist you in achieving your litigation objectives. 

When does the Partition of Real Property Act go into Effect? 

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 were 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-1-1-300x300Yes. When co-owners of property decide they want to go their separate ways but cannot come to an agreement on a buyout or reimbursements, they can institute a partition action and have the court system solve the problem for them. 

The presence of a life estate, however, substantially complicates this process. Additional evidentiary showings are required, and a partition might not even be available if the life estate owner fights the lawsuit. Thankfully, the Underwood Law Firm is more than familiar with partitions of all types and is here to assist property owners throughout the process. 

What is a life estate? 

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 for 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 a dissociation? 

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-2-300x300Just because a party prevails in a lawsuit does not mean the matter is over. Rarely discussed but crucially important is the fact that a judgment must be enforced once it is entered. This isn’t always easy. Losing parties don’t always want to cooperate, especially when they’re operating without an attorney. 

Sometimes, a party might “disappear,” ignoring all communications from the other side and the court. Other times, they might simply refuse to sign documents as ordered, convinced the court got it wrong. These actions can cost victorious parties thousands of extra dollars of their time and money. Thankfully, in these situations, litigants have a unique remedy to combat this behavior: an elisor. 

An elisor is a person appointed by the court to perform functions like the execution of a deed or document. (Blueberry Properties, LLC v. Chow (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 1017, 1020.) They are most commonly utilized in cases where a party never shows up or where a party refuses, even under court order, to sign documents as required by the court. 

Underwood-Blog-Images-4-300x300When co-owners of property decide they want to go their separate ways but cannot come to an agreement on a buyout or reimbursements, they can institute a partition action and have the court system solve the problem.

While partition actions usually involve homes or commercial properties, they can also involve condominiums. Condos bring with them some additional complexities because condo owners generally own an interest in their individual units and the common areas of the condominium complex.

This dual ownership can pose problems because there are restrictions in place about what can and can’t be partitioned when condominiums are involved. Thankfully, the Underwood Law Firm is more than familiar with partitions of all types of property and is here to assist property owners throughout the process.

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 a 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?

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-3-300x300Yes. While joint ventures are a distinct type of business entity, they share many similarities with general partnerships in California. In fact, “the resemblance between a partnership and joint venture is so close that the rights as between adventurers are governed by practically the same rules that govern partners.” (Milton Kauffman, Inc. v. Superior Court (1949) 94 Cal.App.2d 8, 17.) That being said, there are some differences between the two. This post will address those differences and discuss the common issues that arise among them.  

What is a joint venture?

Under California law, a joint venture “exists where there is an agreement between the parties under which they have a community of interest, that is, a joint interest, in a common business undertaking…” (County of Riverside v. Loma Linda Univ. (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 300, 313.) In essence, “a joint venture is an undertaking by two or more persons to carry out a single business enterprise for profit.” (Unruh-Haxton v. Regents of University of California (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 343, 370.)

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-300x300In California, most real estate is held either as marital property, as a tenancy in partnership, as joint tenants, or as tenants-in-common. While holding title as spouses, or in a partnership, is relatively straight-forward, questions frequently arise as to the differences between “co-tenants” and “tenants-in-common.” This article will explore the difference between the second types of ways of holding title between unmarried individuals, which is generally known as “co-tenancy.” (Civ. Code § 682.) 

How is a joint tenancy created in real estate? 

Generally, creating and maintaining a joint tenancy is much difficult than creating a tenancy-in-common. First, a joint tenancy exists only when the “four unities” are concurrently present in the estate: unity of interest, unity of time, unity of title, and unity of possession. (Tenhet, 18 Cal.3d 150, 155.) Second, by statute, a joint tenancy exists “when expressly declared in the will or transfer to be a joint tenancy.” (CCP § 683.) 

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