This right to reimbursement is known as the right of contribution. It is clear in most states Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin that payment of taxes or repairs made to preserve the property entitle a common owner to a right of contribution against the other common owners for their share of the taxes or repairs. It is not clear whether a co-owner is entitled to any contribution for the cost of an improvement if he or she has improved the real property without the consent of the other common owners.
Some states Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia permit a common owner who improves real property in good faith to recover by contribution from the other common owners their share of the lesser of a the cost of the improvement or b the increase in value to the common property by the improvement. For example, a common owner builds a garage onto a home that is held in equal shares by three common owners. The cost of the garage is $15,000, but the garage increases the value of the property only by $9,000. Therefore, the improving common owner can recover only $3,000 from each of the other common owners, since the increase in value is less than the cost of the improvement.