How can you sell a property that has a life tenant who refuses to sell?

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2012

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How can you sell a property that has a life tenant who refuses to sell?

How can you sell a property that has a life tenant who refuses to sell? The property taxes are 3 years in arrears, and no one has the funds to bring it current. We have a buyer willing to pay cash for the property, and we can close quickly. We do not want to loose the property to property taxes.

Asked on March 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are in a terrible situation.  Generally speaking, the life tenant has the responsibility to keep the taxes currect on the property.  But unless you all agree to the sale you have no judicial remedy to help you.  Your interests as the remandermen and the interests of the life tenant are not reall concurrent to allow an action for partition under the law.  So I think that what you need to do is sweeten the pot for the life tenant if you have not already.  They are entitled to live there until their death.  Offer money to move.  Offer something.  Otherwise you may be out of luck.  I would ask an attorney about filing a claim against the life tenant's estate should there be one and you lose the property.  Good luck.

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