How do I get a family member to pay agreed upon rent in a family home?

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How do I get a family member to pay agreed upon rent in a family home?

My father passed in 1996. My sister agreed to move in and take care of the house/property and pay $300 plus utilities. She’s missed many months and the property has not been kept up. Now she refuses to pay any rent and only pays a portion of the property taxes. The property was left to the whole family. She is one of 13 that own the house.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You will have to sue her for a beach of the lease that you held.  A lease is a contract between parties with the rights and obligations spelled out.  Was the agreement verbal or written?  Verbal contracts are generally enforceable, except in certain circumstances.  The sale of real property is one of them.  Lease can generally be verbal or oral, but state law may limit the duration.  In other words, it may indicate that leases over a year must be in writing.  It may be best for you seek help from a landlord tenant attorney in your area.  Discuss with him or her what your rights and liabilities are here.  And evicting her will be an option as well.  Good luck.


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