Former Son-in-law on Title: Options

How to Conduct a Title Search on a Property - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

(Ontario)

Question:

I have a property waiting to be listed. An older lady is the owner, however her estranged son-in-law is also on title (Although he never bore any carrying costs of the property).

She wants to sell it on her own, but he wants money to be removed off title.

She is willing to pay him a certain amount, and her lawyers have sent him notice, but he hasn’t responded by the said date.

Does she have any recourse if he doesn’t respond, and be able to sell the property without his signature?

Answer:

Yes, she can sell it without his consent.

I assume that the property is registered as Tenants-in-common. She is entitled to sell “her share” of the property whatever that happens to be. If the property is registered as Joint Tenants then that arrangement should be severed immediately. That step has to be undertaken on notice to the other owner.

Once she sells her interest to a third party, the third party is stuck with the son-in-law and vice versa. She’s obviously not getting full price for her share. The new party will acquire her share only at a discount.

The new third party can insist the son-in-law pay his share towards the upkeep. If not, they can secure a Judgment against him for that amount, and eventually seize his interest in the property to satisfy his indebtedness.

The new third party can make application to Court under the Partition Act to sell the property or acquire the son-in-law’s interest. That interest whatever it may be will also be conveyed at a discount.

So, if they both agree now and sell together, they both get full price. If they don’t agree, then both their respective interests ultimately end up being discounted.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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