Sale Of Joint Ownership Property

Question: Can I sell a jointly owned property the other party has been paying taxes on without penalty?
I own real estate/property on Lake Michigan jointly w/right of survivorship in Van Buren County, Michigan. The other joint owner has lived on the property since 1994. I visit the property yearly. He agreed to pay the taxes if he lived there. I would like to sell the property and split the money. Can he make me pay him back for taxes or become owner somehow because it looks like he has paid the taxes for so many years?

Answer: Generally, if you are listed on the Deed as a joint owner with right of survivorship, he cannot sell the property without you, nor can you sell it without him. You could petition a court to partition the property, and the court may agree and also may order a sale. I believe in such a circumstance, the court would accept your position that the other joint owner was paying the annual real estate taxes in return for occupying the property, sort of like rent.

Attorney: Mark Miller

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