If someone co-signed on a mortgage what is their right to the property?

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If someone co-signed on a mortgage what is their right to the property?

My stepdaughter co-signed 12 years ago when my wife and I bought our house. She has been living with us but I pay all bills other than she pays about 1/2 of an electric bill a month. My wife died recently and my step-daughter is very obnoxious and told me I would have to buy her out to get rid of her. What are my legal rights since I have records that I am the one that paid the mortgage. There are only 6 years left for house to be totally paid off.

Asked on December 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your stepdaughter is not on legal title to the property that you are writing about and she is solely a co-signer on the mortgage, then she has no legal ownership rights to the property. In fact, you could make an argument that for all intents and purposes she is a tenant of yours at this point.

I would consult with a landlord tenant attorney if you want her out of the house. If so, the procedure would be to serve her with a 30 day notice of eviction. If she refuses to vacate after the period of 30 days, your recourse would be to bring an unlawful detainer against her. If you want her to remain but to pay a greater share of the rent than what she is currently paying, present her with a written month-to-month lease for a set amount. That might change her attitude towards you.


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