How much rent money does a co-owner get, if he doesnt live in the home or pay repairs?

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How much rent money does a co-owner get, if he doesnt live in the home or pay repairs?

My brother and I inherited property from our parents. I still live in the home,
and he moved out 11 months ago. Now I have a roommate moving in and I need to
know how much rent I legally have to pay him, if any? He doesnt pay for any
prepairs or bills, and says if I dont pay him half the rent he doesnt owe half
the property taxes. What is the right way to go about this?

Asked on July 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, the two of you can agree to any share of rent or proceeds you want to. If you don't enter into an agreement and this matter were brought to court, most judges would order that the rent proceeds be split; that the taxes be split; and that either 1) the other costs (utilities, insurance, repairs, etc.) be split BUT that you then pay your brother an amount equal to one-half the fair market rent for the home or 2) that since you are the one living there, that you pay the utilities, repairs, maintenance, and insurance--i.e. the costs which, unlike taxes, are determined in whole or in part by your occupancy. There are other ways to finese it, too, in line with the above, but sharing the exact costs slightly differently, depending on judicial discretion. In short, as 50-50 owners, the initial baseline is sharing costs and profits/proceeds, but since you are getting the benefit of living there (which your brother is not), you either need to pay rent for doing so or need to pay all the costs in any way associated with occupancy. The law does not let someone get a benefit at another's expense without paying for it. Since you are going to end up having to share the rent and either keep paying costs yourself and/or pay rent to your brother for your own occupancy, you are much better off working out an agreement you both understand and are comfortable with, then putting it in writing.


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