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Distribution of land among co-owners

Partition of land in co-ownership 

When several persons are registered owners of the same real estate, partition of land/land plot is performed with the purpose of distributing a particular land unit or a certain amount of money to each co-owner. Partition of a land plot to several co-owners is the most common way of dissolution of co-ownership. 

When is the land partition performed?

Partition of land, owned by several co-owners, typically follows the probate proceedings.

Namely, if the testator’s land is inherited by more than one inheritor, the Court Decision on Inheritance allocates, as a rule, a certain ideal part to each inheritor. For example, if there are three inheritors, each gets one third of the subject real estate.

Co-owners may choose among one of the options presented below to divide the real estate among themselves: 
  • The subject lot of land may be divided into several plots, each to be acquired by one of the co-owners.  
  • One co-owner may pay the agreed amount to other co-owners, and thus acquire full ownership over the entire real estate.
  • Co-owners may sell the subject real estate to a third party and divide the proceeds among each other according to their respective ownership parts.

The options presented above are applicable only if the co-owners may come to a mutual agreement on the partition. However, that is frequently not the case and the co-owners may not agree on the way of managing, disposing or selling the subject real property.

Typically, several co-owners want to fully dispose of the entire land individually or one co-owner does not want to sell his or her part to other co-owners or does not want to sell it at the offered price. In these and similar cases, when co-owners may not agree on how to proceed with the real property in their co-ownership, they are left with the last resort - to request partition of land to be performed by the competent court. 

How is partition of land performed?

The court decides on partition - dissolution of co-ownership by a court decision, which may be a court decision on physical partition, partition with payout or partition by sale.

Physical partition of land (also called geometrical partition) is performed when the land may be divided into more smaller plots in the way that each co-owner acquires one newly created plot on the basis of his or her co-ownership part.  

In partition with payout the land is awarded to a single co-owner, who is ordered to pay the amount determined in the court proceedings to other co-owners.

Partition by sale is performed if the land cannot be physically divided, in which case the property is sold in the auction sale or in other adequate manner and the profit thus realised is divided among the co-owners according to their ownership parts.

When co-owners may not agree on how to proceed with the real property in their co-ownership, they are left with the last resort - to request partition of land to be performed by the competent court.

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