Joint ownership of Real Estate
Under Bulgarian law, an immovable property may be owned by one or more legal or natural persons. Joint ownership may, for example, be created as a result of inheritance or a joint purchase of a property.
Bulgarian joint ownership – Categories
Joint ownership may be divided into two categories, namely, partitionable and non-partitionable joint ownership. The former is divided into parts, whereas the latter may be divided into parts only if certain conditions are met. For example, matrimonial property constitutes non-partitionable joint ownership that can become partitionable after the spouses divorce.
Co-owners of Real Estate in Bulgaria – Use of the Property
According to the Bulgarian property law, each co-owner is entitled to use the property in accordance with its purpose as long as she does not prevent the other co-owners from using the property. If co-owners have disputes regarding the use of a joint property, they can divide it temporarily or permanently. The first option (temporary division) involves an agreement between the co-owners that governs the use of the joint property for a certain period of time. The second option (permanent division) permanently divides the property concerned and allows each co-owner to become the absolute owner of a part of the divided property.
Dividing the Property between co-owners
Co-owners willing to permanently divide their joint property are advised to settle their dispute out of court. Judicial cases related to permanent division of real estate usually take years to be resolved and are associated with significant legal costs. In some cases, the legal costs may significantly exceed the actual value of the divided property.
Compensation for co-owners of a Property in Bulgaria
If one of the co-owners of a property does not allow another co-owner to use that property, the first co-owner is obliged to compensate the second co-owner for the loss of benefits from the property. However, if the second co-owner has refused to use the property, she cannot claim such a compensation.