We all know that the Family Court of Australia has the power to resolve issues of property ownership between couples.
So how is jointly held property dealt with in the case of disagreement between business partners or groups of family or friends that jointly own property?
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), pursuant to the Property Law Act (1958), provides a forum to resolve issues between joint owners who are not in a relationship. Under Part IV of the Property Law Act, upon application by a party, VCAT can make orders for jointly owned property including orders to sell the property and distribute the proceeds or even divide the property among co-owners.
In simple terms if you are a part owner in a property and wish to sell your interest but your co-owners aren’t interested in buying you out – you can seek orders from VCAT compelling the sale of the property. Note that in seeking such orders there is no requirement to show that the other parties have acted unreasonably. All that needs to be shown is that there is a disagreement between co-owners as to what they want to want to have done in relation to the property.
If you require any assistance in relation to issues concerning jointly held property – please contact us and we will be able ot guide you through the options available to you.