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Sunnyvale Partition Lawyers

Sunnyvale is a city in the Santa Clara Valley, lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101, and is known for being the birthplace of the video game industry. Due to the booming tech industry, Sunnyvale has an expensive housing market, so many residents venture into real estate acquisition with others. Unfortunately, a Sunnyvale Partition Lawyer knows that jointly owned property leads to disputes among co-owners due to unforeseeable events. Fortunately, California law offers joint owners of real estate an escape with the legal remedy of partition. There are at least four different scenarios that commonly lead to a partition action:

  • Co-owned land a significant other wants to sell;
  • Co-owned land a sibling wants to sell;
  • Co-owned land a parent wants to sell; and
  • Co-owned land an investor wants to sell;

An experienced Sunnyvale Partition Attorney knows that there are many stages to a partition action. Once a court confirms a partition sale, the court may enter an order giving directions to the referee respecting disposition of the proceeds of sale. (CCP § 873.750.) Generally, the law requires that the money from the sale be paid to the court, in trust, or invested in government bonds. (CCP § 873.810.)

A knowledgeable Sunnyvale Partition Lawyer will be familiar with the order of priority for the proceeds from a partition sale. Generally, when a court partitions by property by sale in California, the law requires that the money is allocated in the following order: (1) payment of the sale’s expenses; (2) payment of the partition costs; (3) payment of liens on the property in order of priority; (4) payment of any liens on the property in order of priority; (5) distribution of the remainder in proportion to the ownership interests as determined by the court. (CCP § 873.820; In re Flynn (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2003.) Similarly, costs reimbursed before any distribution to either joint owner include fees for an attorney engaged for the common benefit, as well as costs and fees for any referee, money for title reports, and interest on any money spent. (Id.)

If only a part of the property is sold, then a life tenant or heir, may have their estate equitably set-off on any part of the property not sold by way of satisfaction of their share of the proceeds. (CCP § 873.830.)

Next, once the court determines each party’s rights to share in the net proceeds, the court will deduct any share of the party to be charged from it, and the other party’s share will increase by a proportionate amount. (Kershman v. Kershman (1961) 192 Cal.App.2d 23.) That a partition occurs by sale, instead of division, does not prevent a party who improves the property from receiving compensation for good-faith improvements. (Wallace v. Daley (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 1028.) As a result, when one person permits another to spend money to lease the property and build on it, then both parties become co-tenants in the building and lease. (Mercola v. Chester (1950) 97 Cal.App.2d 140.)

If you find yourself in a joint owner relationship that is no longer working for you, the Sunnyvale Partition Lawyers at the Underwood Law Firm deal with these scenarios frequently and are ready to help.

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“We were in need of a real estate attorney. Eli Underwood provided excellent legal advice and services. He explained everything well and followed through with all important issues that needed attention. We found him to be reliable, courteous, patient and extremely professional. We highly recommend Mr. Underwood without any reservations.” I.S.
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