A partition action is a legal proceeding to divide property amongst unmarried individuals that cannot agree what to do with the property. Pennsylvania partition actions are governed by Rules 1551 – 1574 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. There are generally only two options in a partition action. The parties can physically split the property, if possible. This is rarely a feasible option, particularly in the case of property with a structure on it, such as a home. Alternatively, the property is sold and the proceeds are divided. As far as procedure, a complaint for partition should be brought in the county where the property is located and must include all co-tenants as parties. The complaint must include a description of the property along with each co-tenant’s interest in the property.
Following the filing of the complaint and a court order on the partition, a master is appointed to the case. The master will set up an appraisal of the property to obtain an accurate value. Subsequently, the master will arrange for the sale of the property, be it private or public. The parties to the partition action are responsible for splitting all fees incurred during the partition proceeding including compensating the master. The parties do have the opportunity to resolve the partition action at any time and settle the matter amicably amongst themselves.