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Stephen W. Howard - Canyons Law Group
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What does it mean to partition property held by tenants in common or in joint tenancy?

Utah law provides a method of dividing land or other real estate that is owned by multiple parties as tenants in common or in joint tenancy. Such an action is called "partition," and can be an effective means of resolving disputes between multiple owners of a single property (e.g., tenants in common, or joint tenants). If you are involved in a property dispute, consultation with a Utah real estate attorney is strongly advised.

Under Utah Code Ann. 78B-6-1201 et seq., a court may physically divide the property into multiple parcels and give ownership of individual parcels to individual owners. In circumstances where the property in question is not merely raw land, but instead has improvements (e.g., a home, or other structures that cannot be physically divided without destroying the structure), the court may order the property sold, and the proceeds divided among the owners.

Sale of the property should be ordered by the court only if the physical partition cannot be done without causing great prejudice to an owner. If the property or land cannot be divided equally, Utah courts are still required to give preference to physical partition with the remedy of "owelty" (requiring one owner to compensate another by paying the difference in value between the two unequally divided parcels) rather than ordering a public sale of the property.


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Stephen W. Howard is Utah attorney, practicing as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC.
With offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties, we are pleased to provide legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Call 801-449-1409 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

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