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Co-Tenant Who Removed Timber from Jointly Owned Land Liable for Waste
Description Idaho high court upheld trial court verdict in favor of tenant-in-common who suffered loss due to fraud by waste when co-tenant had the land logged without knowledge or permission of other owner and kept all proceeds.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Waste, Fraud, Tenancy in Common
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Watts and Krebs were divorced in 1985. The decree provided that they would hold some land as tenants-in-common. Six years they later agreed to partition the land and Watts immediately sold her land. Krebs did not reveal to her that before the land was partitioned, he had earned $29,000 fromm having a portion of her land logged. When Watts learned of the logging, which reduced the value of her land, she sued Krebs for fraud by concealment of waste on the property. District court held in her favor; Krebs appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "Krebs' nondisclosure of the fact that he has harvested the timber on the property was nondisclosure of a material fact which supports a claim for fraud." Since this was a tenancy-in- common, Krebs could not have the lumber harvested and keep the proceeds. Krebs committed waste by having the timber removed. The measure of damages is the proceeds Krebs received from the sale of timber.
Citation Watts v. Krebs, 962 P.2d 387 (Sup. Ct., Ida., 1998)

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