Partition of Property Claims

If you own property with a person who is not your spouse, you want to sell the property, and you cannot come to agreement with your co-owner either on the sale or on who gets what from the proceeds, and there is no clear agreement, you are in the territory of a partition of Property Claim. This claim is governed by the Partition of Property Act (“PPA”), the Inherent Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

The nature of this sort of claim may become a detailed financial accounting where, generally speaking, the Court will look at the contributions of the parties and the value of the Property. This ws the case in RBM Financial v. Pollard, 2006 BCSC 1788.

While a joint tenant or 50% owner would clearly have standing pursuant to section 2(1) of the PPA, not everyone has standing to bring a Partition of Property Action. Do you? See the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Pallot v. Douglas 2017 BCCA 254  wherein the beneficiary of a trust (that was a leaseholder) was denied standing to cause the sale of the property.

[14]        Mr. Justice Leask, in the court below, found that Mr. Pallot’s beneficial interest in the lease is an interest in land for the purposes of the PPA, but not a possessory interest which would give him standing in a partition proceeding: Pallot v. Douglas2015 BCSC 1296. He therefore dismissed the application for partition. In the alternative, he found that the historical use and Trust were good reason not to order partition and sale.

In the fairly recent decision of Haigh v. Kent 2016 BCSC 333 a 25% owner (who had obtained that interest as a result of contributions to the property and previous litigation) succeeded in compelling the sale of his 25% interest to the other property owners on the basis of an assessed fair market value of $1,650,000.00.