Can a housemate with joint tenancy move from the house, stop paying her half of the mortgage, and still have rights to the property?

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Can a housemate with joint tenancy move from the house, stop paying her half of the mortgage, and still have rights to the property?

I paid all expenses to purchase and move into this house with the verbal stipulation that we would live here the rest of our lives. We have been here less than a year. Now she wants to move out and force me to pay the mortgage and expenses myself. I will lose the house to foreclosure because I will not be able to keep up the mortgage long enough to sell the house and also ruining my credit. I have nowhere else to go so I want to keep the house. Do I have any options here that don’t end with me losing the house and all of my investment?

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to take all the documents involved to an attorney to review and help you as soon as possible.  The verbal agreement is as good as the paper it is written on.  Your joint tenant has the same obligation to pay the mortgage and house expenses as you.  If you pay them on her behalf then you have a right to sue her.  The bank or lending insitution will sue you both on the foreclosure.  You need to figure out a plan here.  Soon.  Good luuck. 


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