paying property and sewer taxes

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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paying property and sewer taxes

living in my mom’s house to help her and now she want to sell. I’ve paid
close to 200k in property and sewer taxes and close to 400k taking care of
utilities and everything else. What are my rights? I live in nj

Asked on October 13, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You have no rights to the property or reimbursement or any share of equity from the sale unless there was some written agreement or contract, signed by your mother, made *before* you paid, giving you something in exchange for your payments. If someone voluntarily makes payments for or provides money to another person, that voluntary act does not require the other person to give them anything in return or give the payor any rights to property; your voluntary act conveys no rights, and you cannot obligate others by what you do voluntarily. The other person could certainly agree to give you something in exchange for your payments, but they would have to agree voluntarily, and because of how the law of contracts works, they would have to agree before you provided the money. 
If there was such a written contact and your mother will not honor it, you could enforce it in court by a "breach of contract" lawsuit. Otherwise, your mother can sell your house and does not have to give you anything from the sale or otherwise any payment.

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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