Co-ownership of Property A sibling of mine and I were co-deeded property owned…

Co-ownership of Property
A sibling of mine and I were co-deeded property owned by our parents in a quit-covenant deed with the right of survirorship.

My sibling decided to convert this property — a summer cottage and vacation home– into a commercial rental. Since we are not ”financial equals,” I was not able to match him dollar for dollar on the structural and cosmetic upgrades he made to the cottage and instructed him to keep all rental income until he broke even, thinking that would happen within a few years time.

In 5 years, he racked up over $45,000 in expenses, claiming I owe him half of that. He never consulted me or obtained my approval on the many of the upgrades he made or provided copies of expense receipts or rental agreements even though I have been asking him for years.

The business and family relationship has not gone well and now we are at loggerheads.

Do I have a responsibility to pay him back for expenses I did not agree to? If we sell the property, are we each entitled to half the proceeds of the sale or is he entitled to recover his expense outlays not recovered through the rental income?

2 thoughts on “Co-ownership of Property A sibling of mine and I were co-deeded property owned…

  1. Re: Co-ownership of Property
    If you did not agree to participate in a joint business venture then you are not responsible out-of-pocket for expenses he incurred in development. However, if no other agreements can be made now as to your respective rights and responsibilities, then a partition legal action need be brought and an Order sought to sell the property with the proceeds divided. It is likely the Court would allow for the improvements to be re-couped by your sibling before any net proceeds were realized. But, a full accounting of all income and expenses would need to be scrutinized and that could impact the Judge’s decision.

    Jerome Gamache
    Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice, P.A.
    P.O. Box 2412
    South Portland, ME 04116

  2. Re: Co-ownership of Property
    The answer to your question depends on several factors, including whether you and your sibling had any written agreements regarding any of the improvements or rental income. You should consult an attorney who has handled real property cases. Please feel free to give my firm a call and set up a free consultation to discuss this matter.

    Zachary Paakkonen
    West End Legal, LLC
    200 High Street, Suite 1A
    Portland, ME 04101

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