Indivision: how to manage it and what solutions to get out of it ?

Co-ownership is the situation of a property held by several owners. This is a very common situation.

When buying a residence together, by a couple for example, co-ownership has the advantage of simplicity. The act of purchase determines the share acquired by each up to the amount of his contribution.

This type of situation is also common in the context of a succession in the presence of several heirs. Each of the heirs becomes co-owner of all the property of the deceased with a representative share of his rights.

However, the property is not without its drawbacks.

The most important decisions must be taken together by the co-distributors, by a 2/3 majority or unanimously as the case may be. In the event of disagreement or in the presence of many co-owners who sometimes live far from each other, blocking situations can therefore appear. This is particularly the case of joint ownership following a divorce or when the property has been transmitted in joint ownership over several generations.

In addition, the law provides that no one can be forced to remain in joint ownership. If one of the co-owners wishes to sell his share, his co-owners have priority to redeem it. But if they cannot or do not want to buy it back, then the only alternative will be to sell the property to a third party after a procedure which can be long.

If one of the co-owners recovers the share of the others against compensation, this is a “sharing” and not an assignment. This sharing has a fiscal cost: the right to share. This is 2.5% calculated on the total value of the undivided property. However, for partitions following a divorce or a breach of PACS, the right to partition benefits from a reduced rate of 1.1% as of January 1, 2023.

Very often, however, it is possible to avoid these situations of co-ownership: For example, by anticipating during his lifetime the transmission of his heritage thanks to shared donations: each of the children receives very distinct lots and no right of sharing will be of. Indivision will thus be avoided.

Co-ownership can also be secured by signing a co-ownership contract. The purpose of this is to organize the management of the co-ownership. The co-owners will thus be able to plan the distribution of the charges, add a manager of the co-ownership or even provide for the payment of compensation in the event of occupation of the property by a single co-owner. If it is a property, this contract must be drawn up by a notary.

As you will have understood, to reduce the risk of conflicts related to co-ownership, it is advisable, when possible, to anticipate and choose the most suitable legal framework. Whether you are in a situation of co-ownership chosen or suffered, call on your advice (notary and heritage advisor) to determine the strategy best suited to your situation.