What happens if a life tenannt fails to maintain their life estate?

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What happens if a life tenannt fails to maintain their life estate?

They have let the house get into disrepair and have not paid the property taxes in almost a year.

Asked on October 27, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant's obligation is to maintain the property for the benefit of the remainder interest; this includes repairing the premises and paying the property taxes. Since the life tenant has not fullfilled their duty, the remainderman (i.e. the person who gets the property upon the death of the life tenant) can go to court and attempt to get the life estate extinquished based on the legal theory of "waste".  It is strongly advise that local legal counsel be retained.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant's obligation is to maintain the property for the benefit of the remainder interest; this includes repairing the premises and paying the property taxes. Since the life tenant has not fullfilled their duty, the remainderman (i.e. the person who gets the property upon the death of the life tenant) can go to court and attempt to get the life estate extinquished based on the legal theory of "waste".  It is strongly advise that local legal counsel be retained.


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