Is Co-Owner of Apartment Building Entitled to Reports on Its Management?
My sister owns half of a seven-unit apartment building with my brother. She wants quarterly reports and wants to be part of the decisions made with building, but my brother’s wife, who rents all apartments out and collects the money for them, won’t tell my sister what comes in every month and what goes out. As half owner, isn’t she entitled to a monthly statement of costs and earnings, and to be involved in decision making?
Yes, definitely your sister is entitled to all information about the property in which she has an ownership interest. Either monthly or quarterly reports would be reasonable. It would also be reasonable for your sister-in-law to be paid something for managing the properties, including preparing the appropriate reports. Your sister should also have access to the bank account for the properties so she can monitor, as well as the annual tax return.
If your sister, brother and sister-in-law cannot come to agreement on how the property should be managed, your sister may have to “force” the issue. She can do so by bringing a partition action, or perhaps first threatening to do so. A partition action is a forced sale of the property. This may or may not be in anyone’s best interest, but if the co-owners can’t work out a way to work together, your sister may ultimately have no other choice.