PENNSYLVANIA PARTITION LAW
How Partition Act Laws of Pennsylvania Can Help You Divide Land
When more than one party owns a home or piece of land, any person with an ownership interest has a right to partition the land. A partition can be voluntary, if the parties can come together with their respective attorneys and create a contractual agreement for the disposition of the land. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, then they will have to adjudicate the dispute through a Pennsylvania partition lawsuit.
In a Pennsylvania partition action, there are two ways that the land can be divided. It can be partitioned in kind, where the parties each have their own carved-out piece of property to themselves. This is usually only reserved for vacant tracts of land, as it would be difficult to divide a residential home. The other means for partition is a partition by sale, where the home or land is sold at auction and the parties split the proceeds. The manner of the division of land or money depends on the type of tenancy the parties had when they co-owned the premises. If they were tenants in common, they can split the land according to their percentage ownership. If they were joint tenants, they must split the land equally. In Pennsylvania, married couples can take ownership of property as tenants by the entirety. In this case, the partition of marital property would likely come about as part of a divorce proceeding.
Pennsylvania is a lien theory state, which means that any lender or bank with a mortgage on the property has a lien on the property in the amount of the outstanding loan. Before the completion of the Pennsylvania action in partition, the lien must be satisfied in full. If you own land in PA, you have a right to partition it.