As reported by The Real Deal South Florida Real Estate News, a privately owned self-storage facility located in Boynton Beach near Gateway Boulevard and Venture Center Way was just acquired for $10.5 million by Cubesmart, a national presence in the self-storage industry. The storage facility was originally built in 2007 by Herbert Kahlert and his family’s estate. In 2010, this property was one of several commercial property holdings owned, or apparently co-owned, by Mr. Kahlert and his former wife, Patricia. Although the underlying facts are not readily known, Patricia Kahlert filed a series of lawsuits that embroiled the properties, including the recently purchased storage facility, until an amicable settlement was reached in 2014. The settlement resulted in Patricia Kahlert signing off on several releases, dismissing all of the lawsuits, and obviously allowing this multi-million dollar sale to proceed.
Although the exact nature of the marital co-ownership in this instance was unknown and most likely unique to the Kahlerts, the more general issue raised by this scenario is that when the ownership of real property is shared – whether between spouses, ex-spouses, unmarried adults or co-tenants in common investing in jointly owned real property as a business venture (to name just a few potentially problematic situations when it is time to transfer the property) – it is imperative that a skilled real estate attorney be consulted. Although no attorney is able to guarantee the outcome of a legal dispute, when co-tenants are guided by good legal advice, there is a better chance everyone’s interest and access in the jointly owned land will not be unduly delayed or held hostage by a lawsuit or other partition action. Qualified Real Estate Lawyers in Boynton Beach can analyze legal issues that could be later very costly.
Generally speaking, there are three types of joint ownership: “tenancy by the entireties,” “joint tenancy,” and “tenancy in common.” Tenancy by the entireties is unique to married people. A joint tenancy usually creates a “right of survivorship” which means that if one of the joint tenants dies, the remaining joint tenants equally inherit the decedent’s interest or portion of ownership. Tenants in common is a more flexible form of joint ownership in that it does not require the cotenants to own equal shares or require,(as a condition of transfer, the permission of the other cotenants.
In Florida, a partition action may be filed as a matter of right by any of the co-owners of real property. A partition action requests the court to sever what is otherwise an undivided and coexisting right to the whole property by all the joint owners. On occasion, as stated in Chapter 64 of the Florida Statutes, the court may find “that partition cannot be made without prejudice to the owners.” In those situations the court may order the land to be sold at public auction to the highest bidder.
Call the experienced Boynton Beach real estate lawyers at Boynton Law, P.A. for a free consultation and evaluation if you have any concerns about the commercial property you currently own or are contemplating acquiring in the future.