Joint ownership – concept/Legal status of joint ownership/Termination of joint ownership – partition/How we can help you
Common ownership – concept
In the vast majority of cases, the ownership of a property belongs to a single natural/legal person.
However, in practice there are a number of situations where ownership of a property is held by more than one person at the same time (in some cases in exactly defined shares, in other cases in presumed shares).
In these cases, we speak of the existence of joint ownership, which can take two forms: (i) co-ownership (in which each owner has a precisely determined share of the ownership of the common property), (ii) joint ownership in devinage (in which each owner has a determinable share of the ownership of the common property).
As a general rule, joint ownership in the form of co-ownership occurs when a person dies and his or her property passes to two or more heirs, whereas joint ownership in the form of devisees is found in the case of spouses.
In the case of joint ownership, regardless of its type (co-ownership or devise), the ownership of the common property is shared between several natural and/or legal persons.
Legal status of joint ownership
Given that the right of ownership of the same property belongs to several persons at the same time, the legal regime of joint ownership is slightly different from the legal regime of ownership by a single owner, and is generally characterised as follows:
in the case of co-ownership, each holder of a share of the property right can freely dispose of his share (e.g. sell it, etc.);
each owner may use the common property without hindering the use of another owner;
each owner is entitled to the benefits of the common good corresponding to his share of the ownership;
each owner is obliged to bear the burdens of the common property (e.g. maintenance and upkeep costs) corresponding to his share of the ownership;
each owner may enter into conservation deeds relating to the common property without the consent of the others;
acts of disposal of the common property are concluded with the agreement of all owners;
each owner may appear alone in any proceedings concerning the common property, etc.
Termination of joint ownership – partition
Joint ownership, regardless of its type (co-ownership or devisee) can end at any time by partition.
Partition is the legal (and sometimes material) operation whereby joint ownership ceases.
Depending on the circumstances, the partition can be completed in several ways:
- the common property is divided in its materiality, when this is possible, and each owner receives a share over which he will have an exclusive ownership right;
- the common property is assigned to one or some of the common owners in exclusive ownership and the rest receive monetary compensation;
- the common property is sold and the price is divided between the owners.
As a general rule, the right to request partition can be exercised by either owner at any time.
Partition can be carried out either by agreement of all owners or through the courts.
How we can help you
Our lawyers can advise you on any issue related to making a partition:
- legal advice and legal assistance in the case of a partition by agreement of the parties;
- legal assistance and representation in a partition pending before a court.
Access the legal services offered by DPA lawyers:
Other information regarding Ownership
Other information on Legal Inheritance
Other information regarding Sharing
Other information regarding the Legal Status of a building