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I own a home jointly with a partner. I have made all the payments, taxes and insurance since the beginning. I have a buyer for the home but my partner does not want to sell. How can I override his decision?

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Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction. Very likely that you cannot. –  littleadv Jul 2 '13 at 18:11
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To add to littleadv's comment, when you talk to a lawyer, take along the deed which conveyed the property to you because the wording on that will determine how you own the property, as joint tenants or tenants in common. Tenants in common can sell their share of the property to third parties without the approval of the other tenants. –  Dilip Sarwate Jul 2 '13 at 19:34
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By 'partner' do you mean a spouse or common-law spouse, or just someone you have bought a house with? –  DJClayworth Jul 3 '13 at 2:38
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Joint owners often have an individual right to ask a court to partition the property or order it sold and the proceeds partitioned. If the co-owner is rational it may not have to go all the way to court since rationally there would be more money selling it without such 'help'. Ask your lawyer about that, too. –  Paul Jul 3 '13 at 9:43
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@Paul, please write that up as an answer. My understanding is that you are correct, and I'd certainly +1 that. –  ChrisInEdmonton Jul 3 '13 at 16:41
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My answer assumes the sale is necessitated by divorce.

If your partner does not want to sell, perhaps they want to buy?

Let's set aside for a moment the fact that you made all the payments on the property; that money is gone. Your partner will argue that while you took care of all the payments they took care of other stuff that was equally beneficial to the marriage and cancels that out. A judge would support that argument. In future, consider a pre-nupital agreement.

If you have a buyer willing to purchase at a specific price you have a good starting point for negotiations with your partner; a sale price.

Now add up all the expenses involved with selling a house: lawyer fees, land transfer tax, realtor fees, early mortgage cancellation fees, and the amount owing on the property. Subtract these fees from the purchase price, divide by 2, and offer to take your name off the deed and the mortgage for that price. If your partner is reasonable they get to stay in the house, you get some cash in your pocket and walk away from the deal with minimal hassle.

This type of deal is known as a "shotgun deal", where either party can offer the other the same thing. By that I mean your partner could offer you the same amount of cash to sign off on the property. From your question, it seems unlikely this will happen. A deal that is equitable and fair can save a lot of headache for both parties.

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