South Carolina Partition Law
How To Divide Property In South Carolina Through A Partition Action
When you are the co-owner of a piece of property, you have a right to enjoy and possess the entire property, even though you are not the only owner. When the other owner pushes you out of the property or you no longer wish to utilize the property, you have a right to bring a partition action to compensate you for your interest in the property. A partition action can be a lawsuit, where you ask the court to split the property, or you can negotiate with the other owners to create a voluntary partition.
When land is partitioned, there are two ways for dividing it. A partition in kind causes the land to be physically divided between the two parties, so that each party has their own carved out piece. However, this would be difficult to do when there is a home or structure on the property, so there is usually a partition sale in SC law when the property in question is residential or business property. When land is sold in a partition sale, the proceeds are then divided between the owners. The division of the land or the proceeds depends on the type of tenancy that the owners originally had. If they were tenants in common, the land can be divided according to each person’s interest in the property. If they were joint tenants, then the land must be divided equally.
South Carolina is a lien theory state, which means that any lender with a mortgage on the property has a lien. This lien must be satisfied in full before the property can be divided or the proceeds can be distributed. If you own land in South Carolina, you have an absolute right to partition, and you should speak with a real estate attorney about your rights.