A significant amount of real property is owned not by individuals or companies, but between two or more people in a wide variety of relationships. It may be that the property is owned by spouses, de factos, siblings or business partners. As with any relationship, disagreements can arise between property owners, perhaps regarding the way in which the property is to be dealt with, managed or sold. When these disputes do arise, it can be confusing for property owners to understand their options.
Where property owners are unable to reach an agreement, it may be necessary to have a ‘statutory trustee’ appointed to sell the property. A statutory trustee is an independent party who is appointed by the court to market and sell the property, then distribute the sale proceeds to any parties who are owed money in in relation to the property (such as a mortgagee bank) and then to the property’s co-owners. The power to appoint a statutory trustee arises under the provisions of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld), and having a trustee appointed requires an application to the Court.
It is of course preferable for property owners to resolve disputes amicably. However, this is not always possible and in a lot of cases the only practical resolution is to have an independent party appointed to resolve the issues. We can provide you with advice if you are involved in a dispute regarding property ownership and can assist you with resolving the dispute and having statutory trustees appointed if necessary. If you are involved in a dispute with the other co-owners of a property, we would suggest you contact our office on 07 3262 6122 to arrange an appointment.