Law Office of Leo B. Siegel
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Co-Ownership Disputes & Title Matters Archives

How can I prevent disputes when co-owning property?

When you enter into a real estate co-ownership relationship in Santa Cruz, you greatly reduce the risk of purchasing property as an individual. However, there are certain steps you must take to ensure the arrangement is a success, otherwise you run the risk of losing the property you worked so hard to attain or incurring legal recrimination. explains what you can do to make the endeavor a success.

Determining whether joint tenancy is right for you

Before you and another party such as a spouse, partner, friend or sibling decide to buy California real estate together, you have a number of decisions to make. One of the most important is if joint tenancy is best for your situation. We at the Law Office of Leo B. Siegel often provide legal counsel to people who want to co-own property.

What is a partition action?

If you own a piece of California real estate with one or more other people, what do you do if you want to sell the property but your co-owners do not? The answer may depend on how you acquired joint ownership. If you and your co-owner(s) acquired the property through inheritance, a partition suit may be your best option.

Is co-signing and co-owning the same thing?

It is common for people to get a co-signer on a loan when making a large purchase. Whether you are buying a home in California or getting something less expensive, such as a car, if your credit is not where the lender wants it to be, you will probably need a co-signer. On the other hand, sometimes, especially with property, you may choose to have a co-owner. There are some differences between a co-signer and a co-owner that are important to understand.

Understanding partition lawsuits

It is very common for siblings to have very different plans when it comes to their inheritance, but when the asset they receive is California real estate, it may be impossible for the each to get their own way. According to, ideally, both owners would agree to sell the property and divide the proceeds equally. However, one owner who is determined to sell may be able to force the other to sell, as well.

Tenancy in common vs. joint tenancy

Co-owning a property in Santa Cruz can be a complex proposition; many of the clients that we here at The Law Office of Leo B. Siegel have worked with can attest to this fact. Your stake in the property will always be your primary concern. At the same time, what your co-owners do should also weigh heavily on your mind. For this reason, it is extremely important that you consider the type ownership will be most advantageous to you before buying into a venture. 

Claiming tax deductions on co-owned properties

Owning a property offers several benefits to Santa Cruz residents, including certain tax advantages. Chief among these advantages is the opportunity to claim deductions related to the expenses of ownership. Deductions do tend to get slightly more complicated, however, when a property is co-owned. Thus, prior to purchasing a property with another party (that is someone other than one's spouse), one should sit down with all of those who will have a stake in it to research the tax considerations related to ownership. 

Protect property from squatters by being vigilant

When there are easily accessed online articles and even a few websites dedicated to helping squatters be successful, it is easy to understand why the practice is so widespread. Property owners In California need to take extra care in safeguarding their property due to somewhat easier restrictions on squatters and their rights of tenancy to property they do not own.

Can I force my property co-owners to sell?

There are times when co-owners of a California property disagree on whether to sell or keep it. It might be a couple who bought the home together but now want a divorce. It could be one of several siblings or relatives who co-own an inheritance and one of them has decided he or she would rather have the money. Or it could be two or more business partners who bought an office or apartment building together but are dissolving the partnership and want to sell the property and move on or retire.

Detailing the different types of deeds

Most people in Santa Cruz may believe that the issue of trasnferring the title of a property only comes up when said property is listed for sale. While that may be the most common reason for a title transfer, it is by no means the only one. Some may want to transfer the title of their properties to a spouse following a divorce or when protecting personal assets from business ventures. Others may find it necessary to transfer property ownership to a trust. Or, one may simply want to gift a property to a family member. Whatever the reason, it should be understood that before one tackles a title transfer, he or she must first understand the type of deed that best applies to the transaction. 


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