Can I be evicted aftermaintaining and improving ahouse and property for 12 years?

The house I live in was willed to my mother. I have lived there for 12 years making all repairs; additionally, I remodelled the house. She now wants to evict me over personal family issues. I stopped paying her to live there months ago because my money was supposed to go toward property taxes and the taxes have not been paid in some time. Is it legal for her to evict me and my family?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your mother owns the home and you do not have either (1) a life estate to reside there; or (2) some lease that lets you stay there (at least for the term of the lease); then yes, she may evict you. It is possible that IF you made the repairs and remodeled in exchange for being able to live there, that you could show that there is an agreement under which you could remain; though you'd also have to show that you have a continuing right to reside there under the agreement (rather than having made the repairs, etc. in exchange for having lived there the past 12 years). You'd also have to prove the agreement, which could be very difficult if your mother disagrees, and also may be barred since many agreements need to be in writing to be enforced, and this may be one of them. You should speak with an attorney with real estate or landlord-tenant experience to evaluate you case; be aware that as a general matter, improving property does not give one a continuing right to reside in it.

 


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