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How to Force a Sale of a Co-Owned Property

There are several ways in which individuals can become co-owners of a property.  They may be married or in a de facto relationship and buy somewhere to live, friends may decide to pool their resources to purchase an investment, or several people receive an inheritance.

Once ownership is established and the parties’ names are registered on title.

There are many reasons why individuals decide they want to sell a jointly owned property, including breakdown of a relationship or financial hardship.  When that happens section 66G of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (s66G) provides the mechanism to resolve the situation.

S66G allows a co-owner to apply to the Court for an order that the property be placed on statutory trust to sell or statutory trust for partition.  In either case, if the Court makes an order, a trustee is appointed who takes control of the process.

Where a party does not want to sell the property but thinks that partition is a better solution, they will need to establish that partition is “more beneficial”.  However, even if that party is successful, the Court retains discretion to order that the property be placed on statutory trust for sale.

If you have a question about potentially forcing a sale against a registered co-owner, please contact David Collins, Kristy Nunn or Michael McGrath by telephoning Mullane & Lindsay (02) 4928 7300 or by completing an online enquiry form via our website.

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