Does my mom have a right to claim part ownership of a house she helped paid off and has lived in for almost 17 years?

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Does my mom have a right to claim part ownership of a house she helped paid off and has lived in for almost 17 years?

About 19 years ago, my mom’s 3 siblings bought a house with their names on the deed and mortgage. My mom immigrated to the US 2 years later and has since lived in this house. 2 siblings moved out once my mom came but no changes were made to the deed or mortgage. My mom and the remaining sibling have split all house-related costs 50/50, and the mortgage was paid off last year. Now I want to have my mom’s name added to the deed but the siblings are no longer on the best terms. If only 2 of the 3 siblings are willing to sign a transfer, can it still be processed?

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It can still be processed as a sale but keep in mind that the shares will decrease and if each owns a portion, the last sibling can sue for partition or sue to have reimbursement of the share of the home. Lots of scenarios can occur herein but your mother is not entitled to monies for helping to pay the costs of the home or mortgage. If anything her stay could be considered a tenancy and unless she is on the deed through a partial quit claim, she will have no rights to remain in the home.


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