Berman & Asbel, LLP

Complex property division: Who has Pennsylvania apartment rights?

As many Pennsylvania residents know, divorce proceedings can cause headaches for couples attempting to separate. Deciding who is able to claim what property often leads to strained arguments about who would benefit more from having certain items. As if separating is not stressful enough, complex property division can lead to overwhelmingly tense feelings. Burden can also be placed on others when property is not clearly owned by either party.

When a couple living in an apartment decides to divorce, who has rights to the apartment can become an unclear issue. One individual may wish that the other not be allowed to enter the apartment, but if both names are on the title to an apartment, the owner of the apartment building cannot keep renters away at the mere request of another person. Should the request be backed up with legal paperwork, the building owners would be more readily able to bar entry to individuals mentioned in the paperwork.

Another issue that arises with common property is the payment of fees. In some cases, one party may refuse to pay shared fees or leave full payment of all fees up to the other renter. This tactic can cause issues for apartment building owners who are losing money if the fees are not being paid in full or at all. Landlords may be able to evict one or both parties should disputes lead to lack of payments.

Deciding which parties have rights to what property can quickly become complicated when third parties are involved. Complex property division can create a new set of issues for the already extensive process of divorce. Pennsylvania property and divorce laws can help outline the best avenues to follow when it comes to property division. Understanding who is allowed to do what with marital property can ease the stress for the separating couple as well as any third parties involved.

Source: Habitat Magazine, "When Apartment Owners Divorce, Who Pays the Monthly Charges? Anyone?" Ronda Kaysen, May 28, 2013

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