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Property

Exam 9
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

O is the owner of Greenacre, a single-family house on a city street. O dies, leaving the house to O’s three adult children, A, B, and C, as joint tenants with right of survivorship. 

Both A and B have spouses, and each has two minor children. C is unmarried and has one minor child.

A, B, and C agree that A will live in the house. They do not discuss how long this arrangement might last. The rental value of Greenacre is $9,000 per year, but A does not pay rent to B or to C.

During the first year of A’s occupancy, A pays the property taxes on Greenacre, which are $12,000 per year. B and C each reimburse A for one-third of this amount, which means that A, B and C each pay $4,000 in property taxes. The three repeat this process during the second year of A’s occupancy.

At the end of the second year, C dies, leaving all of C’s real property to C’s child, D. 

In the third year, A again pays $12,000 in property taxes. A then asks B to pay a share of the taxes. This time, B refuses to do so.

B then notifies A that B wants to move into Greenacre with B’s spouse and their two children. In response, A correctly points out that the house is not big enough for two families, but B is indifferent to this fact. After some argument, B files a partition action, naming A and D as defendants. Assume that there is no issue regarding ouster.

A answers the complaint, and alleges that B is demanding partition merely because B is angry at A. Therefore, A argues, B is acting in bad faith, which should defeat B’s attempt to obtain partition. In addition, A asserts a counterclaim against B for B’s share of the $12,000 in taxes paid by A during A’s third year of occupancy.


Questions

  1. Upon C’s death, what interests do A, B, and D, respectively, hold in Greenacre? Explain.
  2. What is the most likely disposition of B’s partition claim? Explain.
  3. Is A entitled to recover any of the property tax payments from B, and if so, in what amount? Explain.

Question 1

Upon C’s death, what interests do A, B, and D, respectively, hold in Greenacre? Explain.

Question 2

What is the most likely disposition of B’s partition claim? Explain.

Question 3

Is A entitled to recover any of the property tax payments from B, and if so, in what amount? Explain.

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