Real property is often owned by multiple parties as tenants in common or as joint tenants. Holding title to real estate in this manner is common. However, problems can arise when there is disagreement between the owners as to how to use or manage the property, whether to sell the property, or other disputes relating to the ownership of the property. If these disputes cannot be resolved, the law provides that a legal action may be brought to divide the property among the owners. Such a legal proceeding is called an action for partition of real property..
In an action for partition, a court may sometimes physically divide the property. Such a division of real estate must be done in proportion to the ownership share held by each of the owners. For undeveloped land, this may be a workable solution. However, in cases where the real property includes a house or other physical structure, a physical partition of the property may not be practical. In such circumstances, a court may order that the property be sold and the proceeds of that sale distributed among the owners according to their ownership interest in the property.