What can I do if I inherited a house from my father who left my stepmother a living tenancy but now that she has also passed her daughter will is still there?

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What can I do if I inherited a house from my father who left my stepmother a living tenancy but now that she has also passed her daughter will is still there?

Her daughter has paid nothing; she was a guest and has destroyed the house and garage (e.g. dog poop, trash, flies, maggots, etc.). Additionally, she has moved someone else in after she was told not to.

Asked on July 9, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the stepmother was herself a rent-paying tenant (probably not, based on what you write), then you would bring an eviction action against her estate for nonpayment of rent; when the estate is evicted, any guest or subtenants of the stepmother (the daughter) have to leave, too.

If the stepmother had a life estate (which is what I think you meant), then the daughter has no right to stay there after the life tenant passes away. You would bring an action for "ejectment" (think of it as "eviction for nontenants") against her to have her removed.

The other resident will have to go when the daughter does.

The fact situation you describe is not the typical tenant-is-not-paying-rent cases of eviction, so you are advised to hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you. The attorney can also advise you as to filing a civil lawsuit vs. the daughter seeking compensation for the damage to the house.


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