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Division of real estate

The division of immovable property is a means of terminating co-ownership between two or more persons. Partition can be voluntary or judicial. Voluntary partition saves a lot of time and costs, but when it is impossible for the parties to agree on the way of division, judicial partition is resorted to. To ensure that your interests are preserved to the fullest extent, you can contact a property law attorney from Legal Frame Law Firm.

What does co-ownership of real estate mean?
There is co-ownership of immovable property when it is owned by several persons. It can arise in a transaction (when the persons buy the property together), inheritance (the most common hypothesis), etc. Each co-owner has the right to the use of his respective ideal parts of the real estate. In case the property is occupied by only one owner, the owner should compensate the others (by paying rent). The costs are accordingly borne according to the allocation of the property.

Co-ownership can be terminated in several ways:

● waiver of the right to own an ideal part – it is notarized and entered in the Property Register;
● renunciation of inheritance – when co-ownership has arisen through inheritance;
● transfer of an interest – the transfer may be made to the other co-owners or to a third party after it has first been offered to the other co-owners;
● division – voluntary or judicial.

Voluntary partition

A voluntary partition is a contract between the co-owners. In it, the parties agree on who will get what property or share. The contract is notarised and entered in the property register.

After the voluntary partition, the owners may receive:
● property right;
● limited property right – right of use;
● share clearance – when one of the sharers does not receive property, it can be cleared in money or other property.

Where a voluntary partition cannot be achieved, the parties resort to judicial partition.
Judicial partition

Judicial partition is the forced division of property. It proceeds in two phases. In the first phase, the court establishes the existence of co-ownership, between which persons the proceedings will take place and the size of their shares. In this phase, the court examines how the properties were acquired, whether they are actually co-owned, who received what share, whether there are heirs, and so on. In the first phase of partition, additional claims may be brought.

Once the court has established the facts, it moves to the second phase of the trial.

Establishment of a partition protocol: this sets out the individual shares to be received by the parties. Once these have been determined, lots are drawn to determine which co-owner receives which share. Where the court considers that this is not fair and equitable, it determines the shares without drawing lots. With the court decision, the co-owners become the exclusive owners of the property included in their share.

If the properties are insufficient to be divided, the court orders a public sale. On the basis of the judgment, the partitioners obtain a writ of execution, with which they open a case and take the property to public sale. The resulting amount is distributed among the co-shareholders.

NB: The partition is null and void if all co-owners do not participate.
Do I need a lawyer?
Partition is a complex process in which the parties have to be careful and determine the ownership correctly, how it arose and who are the parties to it. It is important to have discussions and reach agreement between the parties on the individual quotas before proceeding to partition.

You should bear in mind that voluntary partition is a quicker and cheaper way to settle co-ownership. You can ask a lawyer to draw up a partition agreement and assist you in notarising the transaction.

To ensure quality and timely protection, you can trust our real estate lawyer in Sofia, who has extensive experience in property law.

If you have further questions, you can contact our lawyers.

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