joint owned property that was past dwn from my parents

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joint owned property that was past dwn from my parents

My parent signed over a house to me and my nephew. Nephew abandon it 20 years ago and never paid any up keep or taxes, etc. He just wants me to pay for everything until I die then sale house because that’s all he wants is money. It there anyway to get his name off it without selling it or giving him half what’s its worth since he never paid anything on the house?

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If a person is on the title to property, then they legally own it and cannot be removed from the title by a co-owner unless they consent to their removal. This is true even if a joint owner fails to pay for maintennance, property taxes, and other costs associated with the property, or even neglects it. That having been said, in your situation at the time the property is sold, you would have a claim for reimbursement of any expenses that your co-owner should have paid; these costs will be deducted from their share of the proceeds.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't take his name off the property. He owns it, or a half share in it, and the fact that you don't pay for or neglect property doesn't mean you lose the rights to it.
You can't put a lien on the property against a co-owner unless there was some written agreement between the two of you for him to pay certain expenses relating to it, which agreement he violated.
Note that if you sell it, you have a reasonable claim to give him less than half, since you have paid upkeep and he has not. If won't agree to accept less than half, you'd have to bring a legal action (lawsuit) to determine who gets what, but there is a reasonable chance the court will give you a credit for your payments. You may wish to discuss this with a real estate attorney, to better know what you may be entitled to. One of the legal theories for this would be "unjust enrichment": the court does not like people to accept benefits (e.g. the home's equity) for which they should and know they should be paying (taxes, maintenance, etc.) without paying.


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