Can a verbal agreement upheld in a real estate court?

My sister-in-law sold her house to us over a year ago, for $1.00. She was going to lose it and didn’t want to, so she sold it to us. We agrred that while we lived in the home, we would give her money for her rent each month. We fixed the home up and are ready to sell it and now she wants us to leave the house or give her the money from the sale of the home since she won’t be getting funds for rent anymore. Would her case hold up if she took us to court? There is no written agreement in regard to us paying her monthly.

Asked on July 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Contracts for the transfer or sale of real property must be in writing to be valid.  Otherwise they violate a law known as the Statute of Frauds.  So her "selling" you the house is not valid but maybe for other reasons as well.  Is there a mortgage?  You can not transfer the house in violation of the mortgage.  I think that the court would only consider you month to month tenants.  Please seek legal help.  Good luck.

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