The plaintiffs, Joanne Pecci, Thomas McDonough, Barbara Hubert, and Paul McDonough, filed a petition for partition of the two-family dwelling and property located at 23-25 Fairview Road in Woburn. The plaintiffs and defendant Sheila Wiitala are siblings; defendant Wayne Wiitala is Sheilas husband. The evidence of the record title shows (and the parties did not dispute) that the plaintiffs and Ms. Wiitala each have a 10% interest in the property as tenants in common. The remaining 50% interest is held by Mr. and Mrs. Wiitala (as tenants by the entirety) as tenants in common with the plaintiffs.
The property cannot be advantageously divided among the five siblings and Mr. Wiitala and, accordingly, a partition by sale or by set off to one or more of the parties is appropriate. G.L. c. 241, §§ 14, 31. The defendants, who represented themselves pro se, also contend that they have paid all of the expenses of maintaining the property and have improved the property and seek reimbursement of such expenditures pursuant to G.L. c. 241, § 23.
A trial was held, jury waived, to determine the fair market value of the property and the credits, if any, to be allocated to each party. For the reasons set forth in the courts Decision of this date, I find and rule that the fair market value of the property as of August 15, 2007 was $395,000. I further find and rule that the defendants made improvements to the property that increased its value $50,000 (60% of which benefited their interest and 40% benefited the plaintiffs). Thus, the defendants are entitled to a credit in the amount of $20,000. Finally, I find and rule that each plaintiff must pay the defendants a total of $4,392.63 for their just and equitable share of insurance and real estate taxes (a total of $17,570.52). At the trial, it was the intent of all of the parties for the defendants to buy out the plaintiffs shares in the property. Accordingly, should the defendants still intend to do so, they must pay each plaintiff $30,107.37 (a total of $120,429.48 to the plaintiffs).
By the court (Long, J.)
Deborah J. Patterson, Recorder
Dated: 1 July 2010