Property owned by 4 individuals, responsibility for repairs and upkeep

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Property owned by 4 individuals, responsibility for repairs and upkeep

Property was received through a life estate by myself two brothers and a sister. My sister and I have maintained the house, done repairs, paid utilities and taxes. We have approached the brothers to pay their share of the costs but they refuse. We are trying to get the house in a condition to sell. Do the Brothers by law have a responsibility to share the costs?

Asked on November 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you all share equally in the ownership then yes, you are all equally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep.  If they will not pay, you and your sister need to keep very good records on all the funds that you are expending with estimates and receipts for repair.  When it comes time to sell you need to ask for reimbursement for what you put out.  You should consider having the proeprty appraised as is and then after the repairs so that the increase in value can be calculated as well.  Good luck.

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