I don't want to sell
November 16, 2007 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Can my parents sell a piece of property without my consent?

My parents and I own a 5 acre piece of property in Oklahoma. Both of their names and my name is on the deed. Can they sell the piece of property if I'm not willing to sell it?
posted by drleary to Law & Government (12 answers total)
How old are you?
posted by koeselitz at 10:19 AM on November 16, 2007

Response by poster: 23
posted by drleary at 10:22 AM on November 16, 2007

If you are over 18 then I do not believe they can sell property that you partially own without your consent. They may be able to break the parcel into three equal pieces and sell their parts but they should not be able to sell yours.
posted by fenriq at 10:23 AM on November 16, 2007

I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer, and I know nothing about Oklahoma property law, and the little I know about property law at all is almost entirely from studying for the bar. So this is not legal advice.

Having said that, to answer your question, I believe they could sell it without your consent, but that would require filing a lawsuit asking the court to force a sale of the property. According to my notes, the general rule (though not necessarily the rule in Oklahoma) is that the judge would only force such a sale if it were in the best interests of all the parties.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 10:23 AM on November 16, 2007

Oh, so just to clarify, without filing such a lawsuit, which you would know about well in advance, no, I don't think they can sell your property without your consent.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 10:24 AM on November 16, 2007

Not a lawyer, etc: If you own the property with them as tenants in common, they can sell their interest in the property to someone else. You would retain whatever your ownership interest is and own the property as a tenant in common with the new owner. If you are all joint tenants, I think the answer would be pretty much what kingjoeshmoe says above.

It's also possible that you are down as the owner and that they have a life tenancy for themselves, but that would be pretty unusual. What, exactly, does the deed say?
posted by yohko at 10:42 AM on November 16, 2007

Isn't this something the title company would sort out?
posted by trinity8-director at 10:47 AM on November 16, 2007

I think trinity8 is correct -- assuming the buyer did a title search via a title company, the buyer is likely to demand your consent to the deal, or they will not have clear title.
posted by beagle at 10:56 AM on November 16, 2007

What about if they forged his signature and went through with a sale? What recourse would he have, if he didn't want to file a criminal complaint against his parents? Would the sale be nullified?
posted by jasper411 at 11:51 AM on November 16, 2007

Jasper411, I believe that is the exact reason for title insurance: to cover things the title company misses. The insurance would cover damages to the buyer in the case the title company messed up. At least, that's what I remember from the RE course I took ages ago.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:26 PM on November 16, 2007

Are you in the middle of a family feud? If not, consider letting them sell and splitting the proceeds and you can buy your own parcel, or, you can buy them out. For whatever reason (maybe taxes?) they want out from under and you should probably let them do that unless you want a really tense relationship for a really long time. They probably don't care if you buy them out (unless they are supporting you, then you really don't have that option) but they want out from under and you have to respect that.
posted by 45moore45 at 2:25 PM on November 16, 2007

IANAL Even if they can sell the property without your consent, they can't keep your part of the proceeds.
posted by theora55 at 2:39 PM on November 16, 2007

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