Posted by: Robin Gronsky | August 8, 2012

What Are My Responsibilities If I Own A House With My Siblings?

Sometimes you and your siblings will decide to pool your resources and buy a vacation home that you all can use.  Other times, you are in ownership with your siblings as a result of inheriting your parent’s house after his/her death.  Owning a home with other people who are not your spouse is tricky.  What do you need to know about your responsibilities when owning a home with your siblings?

As co-owners, you each are responsible for paying the costs of ownership.  This can include payment of a mortgage, real estate taxes, condominium or homeowner association fees, and the costs of repairs and maintenance.  You also need to provide for how to deal with the ownership when one or more of you can’t afford his/her share of the costs or can’t use the property as originally intended.  There is also a question of “waste” – is one or more of you doing anything that is damaging the value of the property?  All of these issues must be discussed among all of the siblings so there is agreement about how to go forward.

The smartest way to keep harmony in the family about the co-ownership of a home is to have a written agreement covering as many issues as you can think of.  If you consult with a lawyer, he/she will come up with some potential pitfalls that you may not have thought of as well as ways to resolve these issues.



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