What are a lifetime tenant’s rights?

My grandmother owns property that a lady has lifetime estate too, however the lady is in an institute. Can she let someone live on the property for upkeep if the property and house are rundown from lack of care?

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant has a right to use, live in and enjoy the property during their life time.  They have a right to rent it but can not convey ownership. If you wish to do anything with their right during their lifetime then you need their consent or the consent of their guardian or conservator of their estate.  There is a duty to maintain the proeprty so the remainderman (your grandmother) may be able to petition the court to do the upkeep.  But a court order would be the best way to go.  Good luck. 

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