Over the last 12 months, we have received a number of enquiries regarding disputes between co-owners of property. These disputes primarily relate to:
- one co-owner wants to sell the property and the other does not;
- the co-owners cannot raise sufficient funds to purchase the other co-owner’s interest in the property; and
- the co-owners cannot agree on the manner in which the property is to be sold, including the:
- value of the property;
- method of sale (e.g. auction, list price, expression of interest); or
- agent to be appointed.
In most instances, the co-owners do not have a written agreement setting out arrangements between the parties, including a mechanism to deal with disputes and how the property should be sold.
In the absence of an agreement between the parties, and where the co-owners cannot agree on how to sell the property, a party can apply to Court to appoint an independent party (‘Sale / Statutory Trustee’) to sell the property. The terms of such appointments can vary depending upon the specific circumstances and where the property is located, as the law in this area is governed by respective State and Territory legislation.
The ‘Sale / Statutory Trustee’ is appointed to sell the property and distribute the net proceeds of sale to the respective parties.
At SV Partners, we are experienced in handling such appointments and often deal with property sales and disputes in insolvency-related matters.