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Forcing the Sale of a Partnership Property

Often when two friends or business partners purchase property for investment or possibly for business premises, they hold that property as tenants in common (in equal shares or otherwise) as opposed to joint tenants. 

Where a property is owned by two or more people as tenants in common, one of the owners can deal with his or her share by transferring it to another party whilst living or leave it to another party in his or her Will.  Problems can arise where one of the owners would like to sell the property and the other owner(s) does not want to do so.  Section 66G of the Conveyancing Act can provide assistance as it enables a co-owner to apply to the Supreme Court for the appointment of a trustee to hold the property for the purpose of its sale.  Whilst the Court’s power is discretionary, as a general rule the order will be made appointing the trustee unless it will be inequitable to do so.  This then opens the way for the property to be sold by the trustee and after payment of all costs of the sale and the proceedings, the trustee accounts to the owners for the proceeds of sale.

The effect of Section 66G is if there is a dispute between co-owners and if one of the owners refuses to agree to the sale, then the other co-owner can take necessary steps to force the sale.  It is important to note that this remedy is available in respect of properties held as tenants in common.  It is not available to a person who owns a property as joint tenants with another person.

If you are in dispute with the co-owner of a property and would like it sold, then Mullane & Lindsay can assist with an application under Section 66G.

To book an appointment please contact Jann Murray on 4928 7300 or by email to:  jann.murray@mullanelindsay.com.au.

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