In Florida, siblings can force the sale of inherited property through a partition action. This statutory legal procedure divides the property among co-owners or allows for the sale of the property and distribution of proceeds among them. Most disputes involving the forced sale of inherited property are related to the allocation of rent and expenses to maintain the property.
For example in one case, a brother and sister, who owned property as co-owners after their mother died, each had an obligation to pay their proportionate share of the real estate taxes, and thus, each was required to pay 50% of the past taxes assessed against the property since the date of their joint ownership began:
On his appeal, Mr. Schroeder also argues that the portion of the trial court’s order that required him to pay sixty-three percent of the past real estate taxes and Ms. Lawhon to pay only thirty-seven percent was in error. We agree, and we reverse the trial court’s ruling on this point. As cotenants of the property, the parties each had an obligation to pay their proportionate share of the obligations and expenses of the property, including the real estate taxes. See Burnett v. Burnett, 742 So.2d 859, 861 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999); Hawkins v. Hawkins, 895 So.2d 1155, 1156 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005); O’Donnell v. Marks, 823 So.2d 197, 199 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002); Bermudez y Santos v. Bermudez y Santos, 773 So.2d 568, 570 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000). In the partial summary judgment entered previously, the trial court had ruled that each of the parties had a one-half interest in the property. Therefore, they were each responsible for one-half of the taxes, not a disproportionate percentage. On remand, the trial court shall include a provision in the final judgment of partition finding that the parties are each responsible for payment of one-half of the past real estate taxes.
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