Legal Steps You Should Take When Disputes Arise In Joint Ownership


The dispute in properties can arise at any time in joint ownership within family or business partner especially when assets like the land is concerned. A dispute can also occur between joint owners of real state. There are different types of disputes and each has its most effective solution in law. You can always search for property settlement lawyers Perth to discuss your formal course of action.

Here in this blog, we will discuss a few important things that you must know if you find yourself in a similar type of conflict:

  1. If you are a joint tenant of a property with another person such as your business partner or your spouse, and you do not intend that the joint property should pass automatically to them on your death, then it is possible for you to do this by switching the mode of holding the property also known as serving the tenancy of the property.  This process can be undergone without the knowledge of the other joint owner by signing a memorandum of transfer.
  2. If you find yourself in the situation of buying a property in joint ownership with another person where you have paid a sum higher than the joint owner. For Instance, you have invested a sum of $ 60,000 and the other person has put in a sum of $40,000 considering the value is of $1, 00,000. Then it is suggested to mention the total value worth of property held by both of the parties in a legal parameter holding the court of law as the witness. This will provide a clear picture in the future and will save you a lot of time and money if a dispute arises regarding the value.
  3. To avoid further conflicts it is always wise to make your intentions clear from the beginning by signing a joint ownership agreement, which is basically a formal deed or a written agreement. The deed will mention all the terms and conditions of the joint ownership agreement which may include how the property tax and bills are paid, how it is maintained or most importantly in case of a dispute or a possible litigation how it will be solved and owners can go ahead with the sale or transfer of the said property.  Before proceeding to create a deed, it is always advised to take assistance from property settlement lawyers as each and every wording of the agreement is important for future solutions.
  4. Always keep this in mind that if you are the joint owner of the property and the property is subjected to a mortgage then the owners will be liable to the mortgagee jointly following the terms of the mortgage. It is entirely possible that you are the owner of only 5% of the property, yet entirely liable to pay for the mortgage debt if and when there is a shortfall during the sale of the property by the mortgagee.
  5. Joint ownership or common ownership generally identify that the property is shared by the owners in a legal manner and in front of the court of law, but sometimes it is common for joint owners to argue that they have contributed above and beyond the agreement and feels that they are entitled to a greater share of the property than it is agreed upon.  It is up to the civil court to decide and determine if the claim by the joint owner is true and grant judgment accordingly.
  6. If you have the joint ownership of property there is no need to safeguard your interest by issuing a warning. However, if you are the common owner of the property and you feel that the other owner has some negative intentions or motive to deprive you of the part over which you have some equitable interest, then it is possible to issue a warning to the other owner with the help of the law.
  7. According to the law, it is entirely possible for a joint owner to gift their part of the property to the other joint owner during their lifetime or upon their death as per the clauses on their will. It is also very common to provide the other joint tenant the right to share or use the property for a fixed period or for their lifetime, which entitles the other owner to use or occupy the property as their own until their death.  It is very common to find disputes between the respective families of the joint owners regarding terms of such agreements or gifts, so it is highly advisable to seek out a property lawyer’s advice before agreeing to such commitments.
  8. It is common for a joint owner or common owner to want to sell their share of the property. If there is a dispute with the other joint owner regarding the sale of the property, then they may be forced to buy out your share of the property as per the court of law. This is usually done by agreement between the parties or owners, or after proper market valuation of the property is obtained.  The same procedure is followed when it comes to joint owners. The buyout of the property usually happens after the other party is served with a legal notice.
  9. If in some exception it is not possible for one co-owner to buy out the share of the other co-owner, then the parties can only sell the land by agreement. Again if there is no agreement or the parties are not willing to settle for an agreement then the owners need to apply to a court in Perth to apply for a legal partition for the sale of the land.

Get in touch with professionals

These were some common scenarios of disputes that are faced by joint property owners and suitable solutions to them. It is always advised to get in touch with lawyers for property settlement for proper legal counseling before taking any steps on your own.