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When can you own the ideal half and how to sell it?

The ownership of the ideal half smacks of an ideal, but in practice it can be far from ideal. When do you become the owner of the ideal half and how can you sell this property?

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7 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

Ownership of the ideal half is different from co-ownership. It is already clear from the name that there will be two owners in an ideal half, whereas in a share ownership there will be at least two. However, there may be as many as twenty persons.

Which of the two options is better?

It is impossible to say clearly. It is always about the people involved. There may be five shareholders, but it is a family that pulls together and always agrees on everything. And if they do not agree, then there are clearly defined shares on the basis of which votes can be counted and coalitions of sorts can be formed.

The owners of the ideal halves are only two, which on the one hand implies easier agreement. However, if this does not happen, then two balanced forces are pitted against each other and a court may sometimes be needed to decide.

What exactly does an ideal half of a house mean?

It is a form of co-ownership that divides a property into two equal parts. However, there is no telling which part belongs to which person. So you cannot say: I have the right half of the house or the top floor, which I will sell or rent out. Of course, in practice, it is possible to make such an arrangement if the layout of the property does not prevent it. Co-owner No 1 occupies the lower half of the house and co-owner No 2 will build a staircase to the first floor and also create a small kitchen on it to be self-sufficient. However, in the event of a sale or any disposition of the house, this division becomes irrelevant. The same principle applies even to land, where the division is much easier to imagine (e.g. owner A owns a field up to the birch tree draw, owner B from the birch tree onwards). But even this cannot be taken into account.

Have you inherited a share in a house or cottage?

Do you own a piece of land with the rest of your family? Or have you bought a share of the property at auction and are thinking of settling the co-ownership?

What are the disadvantages of owning the ideal half of the property?

The disadvantages of such an arrangement are indeed numerous. Some of them are obvious at first sight: if you are a co-owner,you do not own the whole property and can dispose of it in a very limited way. As we will discuss below, the sale of such a property is also complicated. Moreover, it is not even possible to guarantee this share if you want to apply for a mortgage. Conversely, in the event of foreclosure, the entire property and all movable property stored therein will be affected. Although movables can be recovered in some cases, this is probably not something we want to spend our free time on.

How do you become the owner of the ideal half?

Typically, co-ownership occurs in two cases. The first is inheritance, where, for example, two sisters become joint owners of a house after the death of their parents. The second is then divorce, where instead of a community of property, an arrangement arises where both former spouses own one half of the property.

Tip: Will the apartment that your husband bought before you got married be part of your community property ? What about the inheritance from my wife’s aunt, will it be included in the community property? Or a loan your husband took out that he didn’t tell you about? And how to settle the community property? All questions are answered in this article.

How to sell ideal halves?

Klára, who owned a cottage in the Ore Mountains together with her stepmother, Helena, contacted the office of the Affordable Lawyer. She came into possession of the property in inheritance proceedings after her deceased father, who was already married for the second time and whose second wife was her stepmother. As is often the case in such situations, the joint use of the property was very complicated. While Mrs. Klara wanted to visit the house with her friends and children and wanted to renovate and modernize the house, her stepmother had completely different intentions. She did not want to invest anything in the house because she said that “it was no longer worth anything to her” and she wanted to have peace in the house, to read and relax.

The problem was that neither of the ladies wanted to sell the house. Mrs. Clara had an emotional attachment to it from her childhood and Mrs. Helena finally had the resting place she had always wanted. In the end, however, they were unable to agree on a timetable, they made fun of each other and it was obvious that the situation was untenable. Mrs. Klara therefore came for advice on what to do about such a stalemate.

We discussed with her what her options were:

The first one is to dissolve the co-ownership. For example, by dividing the land into two, or by dividing the property into two separate residential units, which will be registered in the Land Registry

However, such an option is not always technically possible. Typically, in the case of a cottage or a ground floor house with two rooms and one bathroom, there is not much that can be done.

The other option that is offered is to sell to a co-owner, i.e. to the other owner. This is a great option in theory. In practice, however, it requires one of the persons to give up the property (for compensation, of course, but sometimes even this does not compensate for the emotional damage). The second necessary condition is then the ability to agree on the price, which is usually a stumbling block. The third condition is the ability of the other co-owner to pay the amount.

The other co-owner even has a pre-emption right by law. However, this can only be exercised within six months of the acquisition of the ideal half, provided that the acquisition was made by inheritance or otherwise unintentionally (not by purchase).

The third option is then to sell the entire property jointly to a third party and split the profit in half.

If no agreement can be reached on any of these three solutions, then a court settlement is in order. The owners can apply to the court for an annulment of the co-ownership. However, this is a last resort and should be preceded by an attempt at one of the above solutions.

Tip: Do you own an item together with someone else? What does co-ownership entail, what rights and obligations do you have in this relationship, what types of co-ownership are known and how can the common property be managed? We will look at this in a separate article.

Mrs. Klara eventually negotiated an agreement with Mrs. Helena to sell her share. Although she had an emotional attachment to the house from her childhood, she followed the advice “the wiser shall prevail”. Mrs Helena also had other money from her inheritance and paying for half the house (as she put it) was much easier for her than if she had to look for another property at her age and deal with moving and all that. We helped both ladies with the contract and the land registry.

Are you solving a similar problem?

Dostupný advokát team of online lawyers will solve it for you.

Division of joint ownership of real estate

Have you inherited a share in a house or cottage? Do you own a piece of land together with the rest of the family? Or have you bought a share of a property at auction and are thinking about settling co-ownership? We will prepare them for you so that everything goes to the satisfaction of all parties involved and you in particular.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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