Does a sibling have the legal right to evict another sibling fromtheir parent’sapartment?

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Does a sibling have the legal right to evict another sibling fromtheir parent’sapartment?

I’m a 46 year old woman living with my 85 year old mother in NYC. I’m employed full-time and I’ve always paid rent as well as helped with expenses such as cable, electric, etc. My mother’s and my relationship has soured over time resulting in a lot of friction – verbal only. I can’t afford to move out now as I’m in the process of paying off a debt. I will be debt-free at year’s end. My older brother is threatening to have me legally removed from the apartment. I’ve lived there since 1978. Can he do this? I’ve never threatened or abused my mother. We just don’t get along.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Only the apartment owner can evict someone. So if the apartment belongs to your mother, she is the one who could have you evicted--and if there is no lease protecting your right to be there, she could do so, on probably one month's notice, if she chose, regardless of how long you have lived there. Your brother would not have the right to have you evicted unless he has been given some power over the apartment specifically (e.g. a limited power of attorney over your mother's real estate) or over your mother's affairs more generally (e.g. a broad power of attorney, or if your mother is not competent, has been appointed her guardian). That's not to say that he may not be able to convince your mother to evict you, of course.


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