This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Can a Tenant in Common Be Kicked Out?

Question from Nemo, Can a Tenant in Common Be Kicked Out?

Answer from AI:

When two or more individuals own property as tenants in common in the United States, each holds an individual, undivided ownership interest in the property. This means that each tenant in common has the right to use and enjoy the entire property, despite the size of their individual share. The situation you’re describing, where one tenant in common has excluded another from the property, raises several legal questions and potential actions.

Understanding Tenants in Common

First, it’s important to clarify what being tenants in common entails:

  • Individual Ownership: Each tenant owns a specific fraction of the property, but there’s no physical division. The property is owned jointly.
  • Equal Rights: Regardless of the ownership share, all tenants in common have equal rights to the entire property.
  • Separate Deeds: Tenants in common can sell or transfer their share independently without the consent of the others.

Can You Be Kicked Out?

Legally, one tenant in common cannot unilaterally exclude another from the property. All tenants have an equal right to access and use the property. If one tenant is excluding another, this could be a violation of the excluded tenant’s rights.

Legal Actions You Can Take

If you’ve been excluded from the property, there are several steps you can consider:

  1. Communication: Attempt to resolve the issue through direct communication or mediation. Sometimes, disputes can be resolved without legal action.
  2. Demand Letter: A formal letter from a lawyer demanding that your rights as a tenant in common be respected might resolve the issue.
  3. Lawsuit for Partition: If other methods fail, you may file a lawsuit for partition. This asks a court to either physically divide the property or order its sale and divide the proceeds among the owners. This is a common legal remedy when co-owners cannot agree on the use or sale of property.
  4. Seeking Damages: If you’ve incurred costs (like housing expenses) due to being unlawfully excluded from the property, you might seek damages in court.

Considerations and Next Steps

Before taking any legal action, consider the following:

  • Legal Advice: Consult with a real estate attorney to understand your rights and the best course of action. Legal advice is crucial in such situations.
  • Cost vs. Benefit: Legal action can be costly and time-consuming. Evaluate the potential benefits against the emotional and financial costs.
  • Alternative Solutions: Sometimes, selling your interest in the property or buying out the other tenant’s share can be a more straightforward solution.


Being kicked out of a property by a co-owner when you are tenants in common typically violates your rights. You have several legal avenues to explore to assert your rights and potentially recover damages. However, the complexity of real estate law and the specifics of each case mean that consulting with a legal professional is the best way to understand your options and decide on your next steps.

For more information on tenants in common and your rights, you might find the Legal Information Institute’s page on Tenancy in Common helpful. Remember, while general information can guide you, personalized legal advice is irreplaceable.

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