Definition of "Abandonment"

Monika Wilson real estate agent
Monika Wilson, Real Estate Agent Century 21 Sunbelt

Abandonment is actually a legal term for the willing renunciation of rights to an asset or relationship.

So, in the real estate industry, abandonment relates to a property that the owner voluntarily relinquished his/her rights to. But there’s a catch: the owner cannot abandon a property in favor of someone else. Once a property – and items included in it - is declared abandoned, it is not up to the owner to tell who should be its new owner, after all he/she has abandoned its rights in this discussion, right?

To determine the abandonment of a property it takes more than mere vacancy or inaction. One person cannot claim a property has been abandoned because its owner is failing to produce the goods that land was supposed to generate or because its owner is never around. Passage of time, however not the principal argument, might help illustrate the owner’s lack of interest in the land and that’s the main allegation judges accept regarding properties’ abandonment. The owner must have verbally declared its intentions to abandon or his actions must have pointed to that direction by leaving the property unguarded, open in an easy to access location.


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Comments for Abandonment

Robin Conner Robin Conner said:

My sister and I bought a house in Burtonsville, MD. Couldn't get along. I moved and want her to buy me out or sell the home. She says she's going to get me for abandonment and get the house put in her name and take it from me. I will end up with nothing for my investment. Can she?

Aug 25, 2020  15:10:27

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Robin! It really depends on what type of ownership option you have. There is joint tenancy, where multiple owners share an equal stake in the home, there is tenancy in common where each person holds a specific percent of the home, and there is sole ownership where only one person's name is on the title of the home. Also, if you have an ongoing mortgage on the house, the outcome might be different if things are taken to the court. In this situation, we highly recommend getting in touch with a real estate attorney, and they will be able to analyze your situation more in detail and provide you with the right answer.

Sep 07, 2020  10:00:41


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