What to do if a family member has moved into jointly held property with only 1 of the owner’s consent?

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What to do if a family member has moved into jointly held property with only 1 of the owner’s consent?

My husband and sister inherited a house from their mother.  At this point, neither want to sell.  My sister-in-law let her son move in  – rent free – without my husband’s approval.  How do we now get him out? Could I send his nephew an eviction notice?

Asked on October 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You husband and his sister have equal rights as joint owners of the property. But neither's rights can interfere with the rights of the others in the property either.  Eviction notices generally have to be signed by both owners of the property.  So even if this were the proper avenue for you to take - and I am not sure that it really is - it is doubtful that your sister in law will agree to sign the paperwork.  So how about discussing it with her and with him about either paying rent or some agreement to maintain the property?  Otherwise, you may have to go the route of bringing an action for partition which will really lead to selling the house.  Good luck. 


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