I'm a co-owner of some commercial property in Louisiana. One of the co-owners wants to rent out part of the property; however, I don't agree with the terms. Apparently he has already granted access to someone to start setting up his business in that part of the property. I never signed any kind of contract to allow this. Can I do anything to stop this from happening? As a co-owner, am I allowed to force the renter out of the building?

  • I would see a lawyer about getting a court order to "freeze" the transaction. You may or may not be able to "halt" it, but you may get the terms adjusted in your favor, or at least to a level accepted by a majority. – Libra Oct 8 '17 at 8:50
  • I would venture a guess in any jurisdiction but Louisiana where I don't trust my common law knowledge about co-ownership to apply. – ohwilleke Oct 10 '17 at 18:17

Details may vary by jurisdiction but in general, co-owners of a property are common law partners.

As such, anything done by one of them is legally the same as if it were done by all of them. Assuming the lease/rental is other is otherwise binding, the fact that only one owner entered it does not make it non-binding. Your chances of ending or varying it without the tenant's agreement are virtually nil.

You may have a cause of action against the owner: partners have a fiduciary duty to one another and if they entered the contract knowing that you didn't agree with it they may have breached that duty. Depending on how such things have been managed in the past, they may be liable even if they didn't know your feelings if they failed to make reasonable efforts to find out.

  • FWIW, that would not describe co-tenancy in real estate in most U.S. jurisdictions. Co-ownership is not partnership in most U.S. states under the Uniform Partnership Act. – ohwilleke Oct 10 '17 at 18:18

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