is my father is still legally tied to a property he hasn’t lived in for 5 years?

About 6 years ago, my father wanted to move from the house he was currently living to another one. He made a verbal agreement to let another family member live in that house as long as she puts her name on it via short sale or what have you. He never submitted anything to the bank himself, she said she’d handle it, he hasn’t made a mortgage payment since then. Today my father finds out he is being sued by the HOA on the property for unpaid fees. What can he do?

Asked on March 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

His oral (that's the better term than verbal) agreement with his family member is irrelevant to the HOA or the bank; it has no bearing in his legal obligation to pay fees, mortgage, taxes, etc. Similarly, it is irrelevant whether he lives in the home or not--people cannot escape their obligations for real estate simply by moving out. So yes, he is still legaly ties to the property. It is possible he can sue his family member for violating her agreement, but that does not affect his own obligations.

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