If my father has title to rental property in his name but I am named as the landlord in the lease, who has the right to the rent?

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If my father has title to rental property in his name but I am named as the landlord in the lease, who has the right to the rent?

My father and I bought a 3 unit property in DC . My father is on title and his name is on the mortgage, but I pay for it . The agreement was my father would get the tax benefit and I would take care of building and get income from the rentals and take care of the expenses. Basically the building was mine and he wanted nothing to do with it just the right off. I have had it for 10 years and now there is a family dispute. My father hired a management company to take the building back and has written the tenants and told them to pay him. The leases are in my name. So can I still get the rent? What is legally allowed?

Asked on April 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to get an attorney here as soon as you can.  Legally you are not the owner of the property and and have no right to issue leases or collect rents unless you have a contract with the owner.  Now, you claim that you have a verbal contract with the owner to collect rents, etc.  You can not have a verbal contract with the owner to own the property.  All contracts for the sale of real property must be in writing to be valid. So you  have no valid ownership rights here.  So at best you are the management company.  Can your father take back the property and get another management company?  Yes, he certainly can.  Get some help here. And try and make up asap. Good luck.  


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