You and your partner purchased a residential property together. At the time, it made great financial sense.  

However, your relationship has since broken down. You have vacated the premises and have filed for separation.  

Your partner remains in the property, living rent free, and is refusing to communicate about the sale of the property. 

What is Section 66G? 

Section 66G of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW) empowers a court to appoint a trustee to sell or partition property held in co-ownership (tenancy in common or joint tenancy).  

What are common scenarios for co-ownership disputes?  

Disputes often arise in domestic or matrimonial relationships, parental and sibling relationships, and interpersonal relationships between friends.  Often, legal firms or financial institutions may also apply to the court for a trustee appointment. 

Trust for Sale vs Trust for Partition? 

Trust for partition means the property is physically divided into distinct lots, with new, separate ownership, whilst a trust for sale means the property is sold and proceeds are held on trust to be divided amongst the parties.  

Both can also be used in the sale of property partially (or fully) owned by a bankrupt.  

Who can benefit from Section 66G appointments?  

If the relationship has broken down, a trustee appointment allows the property to be just and equitably divided between the two co-owners in accordance with their interests and rights.  

Is Section 66G limited to real property? 

Yes, it only applies to buildings or land.  

What occurs after a property is sold under Section 66G?  

Sale proceeds are placed into a trust and distributed among co-owners based on their contributions after payment of any encumbrances, such as a mortgage.  

When can the court refuse a Section 66G appointment?  

The court can refuse an appointment if it’s not just and equitable for all parties involved. This includes where there is an inconsistency with a property or contractual right or a legal trust obligation.  

What costs are involved with a Section 66G application?  

The cost of the application and the trustee fees are typically deducted from the sale proceeds. 

Want some free advice? 

If you need any further advice on the suitability of a s 66G appointment, call +61 2 9251 5222 for a free, initial consultation.