Living in a house that isn’t mine?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Living in a house that isn’t mine?

I have been living in my grandparents house for a little over 3 years. Since then I have paid all my own bills and some bills that are under his name. Sadly my grandpa passed away last year and no issues have come up about this until recently when I received a letter in the mail from my aunt. She stated that she has spoken with most of her siblings there are six including her, and they have come up to an agreement that I should pay rent because taxes are due soon. Up until I have received the letter no one has spoken with me about this. I have agreed verbally with my mother that I will start paying taxes, however I do not think I should hand over money to anyone without a contract or agreement that has been notarized. Unfortunately I can’t find much information about this because it seems to be a large gray area since I don’t own the house and it’s under the names of my aunts and uncles. My uncles have stated they don’t want the house, and my mother also doesn’t want the house. I’ve been told I just need to speak with a lawyer but I’m trying not to go that route. What rights do I have if any? Can I be kicked out without notice? Who can and can not come up with a contract? The house is in horrible shape and no one has offered any help, and from what I have read they need to agree to fix these things.

Asked on November 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Living in a house or even paying bills for it does not, by itself, give you any rights to continue staying there.
If the estate is still in probate, the executor or personal representative, acting in what he/she deems is the estate's and heirs' (the majority of them) best interest, can force you to pay rent and remove you if you won't; or simply choose to remove you in any event.
If the estate has gone through probate, whomever owns the home--i.e. who inherited it after probate--decides who gets to live there. IF you are one of the people who inherited it, you can live there: any owner may live in a home. (If you are one of the heirs and you want to stay and other heirs want you out, the best they can do is force the sale of the home with a special kind of lawsuit, then distribute any proceeds among the heirs, including you.) So if you are not one f the people or the person who inherited, the one(s) who did can require you pay rent or remove you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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