Is a verbal agreement regardingoccupancy enforceable?

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Is a verbal agreement regardingoccupancy enforceable?

WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT WITH MY WIFE’S MOTHER (WHO IS 86) TO LIVE WITH HER UNTIL SHE PASSES AND CARE FOR HER AS NEEDED. IN EXCHANGE SHE WILL PAY THE MORTGAGE PAYMENT AND HOUSE UPKEEP AND WE WOULD PAY ALL UTILITIES. SO FAR BOTH HAVE DONE THEIR PART. NOW MY WIFE’S MOTHER IS TELLING ME THAT I HAVE TO LEAVE BUT THAT MY WIFE CAN STAY.THE AGREEMENT WAS BETWEEN ALL OF US. IT IS A VERBAL AGREEMENT. WE HAD A DEED SAYING THAT WE WERE TENANTS-IN-COMMON BUT SHE HAD US SIGN A QUITCLAIM DEED SO THAT SHE COULD GET HER MONEY BACK FROM THE GOVERNMENT. WE SIGNED THE QUITCLAIM DEED. DO WE STILL HAVE ANY RIGHTS?

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The problem is, that while an oral agreement regarding residenc--a lease--is enforceable, it only creates a month-to-month tenancy. That means that it's only basically good for a month at a time. That in turn means that it can be terminated or ended on one month's notice. Therefore, an oral agreement about your living arrangments would not normally provide you much protection or recourse. If you gave up rights in or to the property (e.g. the quitclaim deed) in exchange for having the right to remain on premises and reside there, that *may*, depending on the exact circumstances, give you some rights; you should consult with a real estate attorney, being sure to explain all the circumstances of the quitclaim deed (and bring a copy of the deed, any correspondence or notes, etc.) in great detail.


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