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“High standards of professional work.” (IFLR1000, 2017)

09.03.2020

Wrongful Claim to Terminate Joint Property

The issue dealing with termination of joint property seems to have reached its climax in recent years and now it has stepped on the path of its solution in a spirit of good faith and justice,” explain Kristīne Gaigule-Šāvēja, partner at PRIMUS DERLING, and Ieva Šakare, associate at PRIMUS DERLING.

There have been several occasions when victims have addressed the media and law enforcement authorities complaining about cases when well-organized professional actors perform activities that are allegedly correct from the legal viewpoint and result in people being pushed out of their homes that have belonged to their families for decades or aim at doing so.

Joint property has existed and will exist at all times so the issue of termination of joint property will always be with us. The joint ownership rights mean title held by several persons to the same indivisible property in the form of undivided, not actual, shares.

If an apartment building as a joint property were divided into separate apartment units, the joint owners would be exempted from the obligation to offer the right of first refusal to other joint owners and would prevent possible risks related to the exercise of purchase option  during the year after the transaction has been registered with the Land Registry and would also get things right if there are several concurrent systems for determination of undivided shares in place in the same joint property leading to inaccuracies and inconsistencies when calculating the burden of costs and other obligations related to the joint property.

At present, lawyers have different views as to whether the existing regulatory framework, through appropriate interpretation methods, gives the right to terminate the joint ownership of an apartment building by dividing it into apartment units and this only needs to be implemented in case law, or whether it requires amendments to the law clearly establishing a new way for termination of joint property. Whatever the solution, the most important thing is that the court has made it clear that there will be no place for legalism and abuse of rights in Latvia.

The original article in Latvian is available at DBHUB.LV