For individuals

Dissolution of joint ownership

If parties are unable to reach an agreement as to the common management of a given property, the solution may be the dissolution of co-ownership. The dissolution of co-ownership is one of the available legal instruments, thanks to which we can dissolve the legal relationship between the co-owners. What is important, the dissolution of co-ownership does not have to require going to court. The current provisions of law provide three ways of dissolution of co-ownership.

Ask an advocate: what does the dissolution of joint ownership mean?

Before we answer the question on how to dissolve co-ownership, let’s try to get a better understanding of what the institution of dissolution of co-ownership is and what are the consequences for the current co-owners.

Co-ownership is the right to the same object – movable or immovable property – that is held indivisibly by specific people. Co-owners may be spouses who bought a house together during their marriage or siblings who became co-owners of the property through inheritance. In many cases, co-ownership does not cause problems. However, there are situations in which it would be more beneficial for us to change the status quo than to continue co-ownership. In such cases it is necessary to dissolve the joint ownership.

The institution of dissolution of co-ownership allows us to:

– divide a shared property (e.g., a shared parcel of land into two separate properties, if physically feasible),

– equalize the value of individual shares through cash surcharges,

– grant to one owner a thing that cannot be divided with the simultaneous obligation to repay the other co-owners.

What can a dissolution of joint ownership concern?

As we mentioned earlier, co-ownership can apply to both real estate and movable property rights. The same applies to the dissolution of co-ownership. Regardless of whether the co-ownership concerns real estate or movables, the law in force stipulates that it can be dissolved only in two ways – by agreement and by court.

The third way to dissolve co-ownership is, of course, to sell the object of co-ownership and divide the amounts obtained from the sale among the co-owners.

Judicial dissolution of joint ownership

The judicial dissolution of co-ownership takes place by way of non-procedural proceedings. The District Court is competent to conduct such proceedings. Judicial dissolution of co-ownership is most often used by co-owners, who for various reasons are not able to come to an agreement. It is advisable to have an experienced advocate handle such a case. It is very useful to have an advocate, with expertise in real estate appraisal and valuation, to assist you in cases in which you are dissolving co-ownership of property. The axis of dispute in such cases is usually the assessment of the correctness of the appraisal report.

Contractual dissolution of joint ownership

Contractual dissolution of co-ownership is carried out by notarial agreement in situations where the co-ownership concerns real estate. Also before dissolving the co-ownership by agreement it is worth to consult with an experienced advocate who will help to negotiate the best conditions. We operate not only in Warsaw – we welcome clients from all over Poland.

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Kamil Jurczewski
Martyna B. Szczygielska
Prof. Marcin Jurgilewicz, Ph.D.
Wojciech Kępka-Mariański
Magdalena Nowosadzka