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Real Estate Transactions and Litigation

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Our office protects our clients’ best interests in the following real estate disputes:

  • Breach of contract
  • Commercial and Residential Evictions and Collection of Past Due Rent
  • Quiet title actions
  • Construction defects
  • General real estate litigation
  • Foreclosures on behalf of the creditor
  • Perfecting or confirming a prior tax sale
  • Evictions when businesses or individuals cease payment on leases
  • Partition of Co-Owned Property 
  • Problems during construction, representing either the builder or purchaser

In addition to real estate litigation, our law firm also prepares drafts and/or negotiates leases and/or purchase agreements.

Co-Ownership of Property

Further, many real state disputes involve disposition of co-owned of property by two or more unmarried persons has unique and special rules. These are rules affecting how the co-owned property is managed and rights when co-ownership ends. Generally speaking, co-owned property is managed by agreement between the co-owners with all co-owners having the right to use the property. If the property produces any income, that income must be shared between the co-owners per their ownership shares.

Conflict often arises when one or more co-owners decide that they do not want to co-own the property anymore. Louisiana law provides a person will not be forced to co-own property with another person against their will. In such case, co-owners may institute a partition of the co-owned property. A partition is the dividing up of property, which terminates the co-ownership regime. Partition can be done by voluntary agreement of the co-owners. However, if there is no agreement, the Court will supervise the partition.

The court can decide to partition the property one of two ways: in kind or by licitation. Partition in kind is the division and distribution of the property itself. This only works if the property can be divided up in shares that are roughly equal in value. Unimproved property where all the land is roughly the same in terms of location and value may be subject to partition in kind. 

In most cases, the property is sold, and the proceeds split between the co-owners in proportion to their ownership shares. Partition by licitation is used when the property is incapable of being split, such as a single-family home. Generally, the sale ordered by the court is a private sale.

If one of the co-owners has spent money necessary on the upkeep and use of the property, to maintain or repair the property, or paid for management of the property, that person will be entitled to a partial reimbursement of those expenses from the other co-owners. The law assumes that the expenses on the property will be split between the co-owners. However, if the co-owner who was paying the expenses had the use of the co-owned property, the value of his or her use may reduce the value of such usage (i.e., rental value).

Partitions that are supervised by the courts are often protracted and expensive. However, in some cases a partition proceeding is the only alternative to terminate co-ownership and receive the value of a co-owner’s interest in a property.


Going through a very NASTY divorce Michelle Sunseri and her staff were super caring, helpful, sincere, trustworthy,and honest. They really went the extra mile. I highly recommend.

Annette Guder Lissgoogle

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