The extinction of joint ownership is a complex issue. At A&O Lawyers, your law firm in Marbella, we explain it to you. Joint ownership is a concept that refers to the coexistence of multiple owners over a property, without the portions belonging to each one being clearly defined. This situation can lead to conflicts and difficulties in the management and enjoyment of the property, which necessitates addressing its extinction. At A&O Lawyers, your specialist firm in Civil Law, we will explore the key aspects of joint ownership extinction. We explain to you today the extinction of joint ownership.


“Pro indiviso” refers to a property in which multiple individuals are owners of a thing, without there being a physical or legal division between their shares. Each owner has a portion of the property, but does not possess a specific and delimited portion of it. This situation can arise when heirs of a property fail to reach an agreement on how to manage it. It can also occur when business partners cannot agree on the sale or use of a shared asset.

The extinction of joint ownership is regulated in the Spanish Civil Code, specifically in articles 400 to 406 ( These articles establish the legal basis for ending the co-ownership situation and redistributing the rights and obligations of the owners.


Causes of Termination of Co-ownership:

There are several causes that can lead to the termination of co-ownership:

a. Division of the common property: Co-owners can agree to divide the asset, allowing each one to obtain exclusive ownership of a portion of it.

b. Sale of the undivided share: One or more co-owners can sell their undivided share to third parties. This results in the entry of new owners and the subsequent partial dissolution of the co-ownership.

c. Settlement of debts through allocation: If one co-owner owes something to another, they can allocate the corresponding portion of the asset to settle that debt.

d. Demand for division: A co-owner can legally request the division of the asset in case of disagreement among the titleholders.

Procedures for the Termination of Co-ownership:

a. Division of the common property: Co-owners can agree to the division of the common property through a public deed or a private agreement. There must be no opposition from third parties.

b. Sale of the undivided share: The sale of the undivided share must be done with the consent of all co-owners or through a public auction. In case of opposition, recourse to a judicial process may be necessary.

c. Settlement of debts through allocation: The existence of the debt must be proven, and in case of disagreement, the procedure may lead to a regular lawsuit.

d. Division Lawsuit: A co-owner can file a division lawsuit before the competent court, requesting the liquidation of the shared ownership and the allocation of the parts.


Benefits of Termination of Joint Ownership:

The termination of joint ownership provides clarity and legal certainty to co-owners, allowing them to fully enjoy their rights over the property. Additionally, it can contribute to resolving disputes and conflicts among the holders, avoiding future issues.

The termination of joint ownership in Spanish law is a regulated process that offers solutions to end the coexistence of multiple holders over the same property. Whether through division, sale, allocation in debt payment, or division lawsuit, co-owners have legal options to resolve this situation and ensure the full ownership and enjoyment of their rights. Understanding the principles and procedures related to the termination of joint ownership is essential to effectively address this aspect of Spanish law. 

We will now focus on the termination of joint ownership due to lack of agreement among the holders. 

In the legal world, the coexistence of joint ownership can be a complex and challenging scenario. When multiple holders share ownership of a property without a clear agreement on how to manage it, conflicts and tensions can arise that negatively affect all parties involved. In such cases, the judicial termination of joint ownership becomes a viable option to resolve the impasse and ensure an equitable distribution of assets. In this legal blog, we will explore in detail the concept of judicial termination of joint ownership due to lack of agreement among the holders, its legal foundations, and the steps involved in this process. 


When joint ownership holders cannot reach an agreement regarding the management or disposition of the property, judicial termination becomes an alternative to resolve the situation. The termination involves the liquidation of the shared property and the equitable distribution of assets among the holders, putting an end to their forced coexistence.

In many legal systems, the judicial termination of joint ownership due to a lack of agreement is based on principles of equity, justice, and the need to resolve conflicts. Courts intervene to ensure that the rights and interests of all co-owners are protected and a fair solution is reached.

At A&O Lawyers, your specialized law firm in procedural law, we explain the steps to follow:

1. Lawsuit filing: A co-owner (or even a third party) can file a lawsuit with the competent court, requesting the termination of joint ownership due to the lack of agreement among the co-owners. Detailed information about the property, co-owners, and the nature of the conflict must be provided.

2. Notification to other co-owners: Once the lawsuit is filed, the other co-owners must be officially notified about the ongoing legal process. They have the opportunity to respond to the lawsuit and present their arguments before the court.

3. Evaluation of evidence and arguments: The court will review the evidence presented by both parties, as well as their legal arguments. Factors such as each co-owner’s financial contribution, previous use of the property, and any prior attempts to reach an agreement will be considered.

4. Judicial decision: Based on the evidence and arguments presented, the court will issue a decision regarding the termination of joint ownership. In some cases, the court could order the sale of the property and equitable distribution of the resulting proceeds among the co-owners. Other options could include the physical partition of the property if it is feasible and fair.

5. Execution of the judgment: Once the judicial decision is issued, it will be carried out. This might involve selling the property and distributing the funds, or implementing the partition as ordered by the court.

The judicial extinction of joint ownership due to a lack of agreement among the co-owners is an important legal recourse for resolving conflicted and complex situations of shared property. Although this process can be intricate and time-consuming, its aim is to ensure that the rights and expectations of all co-owners are treated fairly and equitably. The courts play a crucial role in this resolution, ensuring that the decisions made are supported by the law and adhere to principles of justice.

Do you share ownership of a property with one or more individuals and are unable to reach an agreement? Is this causing you expenses and problems, and you no longer wish to continue with joint ownership, but the other owners are not cooperating? At A&O Abogados, your expert litigation law firm, we will assist you. Contact us now.

In the meantime, feel free to read another one of our blogs about the prohibition of using common elements:

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