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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10206
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My partner and I have been living in a rented separate area

Customer Question

My partner and I have been living in a rented separate area of the family home (his family). The father died leaving the house to the four siblings, now family wants to sell, they are anxious for the money, but because we live there it's a huge undertaking for us to be gone in six mths. That is the families request of us. As my partner is a share of the house, what are his rights?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

A large part of this answer is going to depend on the details in the way that the home was passed down (was it left in a trust, or was it passed through in a will, how is it held on title now).

However, in general:

  • If it is held in a trust, the trust will have documents showing how the property is to be distributed and identify the trustee(s) - the individual or individuals having authority to make distributions of property or make sales.
  • If the property was passed down through a will, it is likely held in some form of joint tenancy between the siblings.
    • If this is the case, and the siblings cannot make a negotiated agreement between them, they can file a lawsuit for "partition" - this is a very costly legal process and greatly devalues the property for everyone involved.

I will tell you that 6 months is a long time for someone to move - tenants in property can be given 30 days notice (regardless as to how many years or decades they have lived in the unit) to move, and they have no recourse. I am not minimizing the effort involved in relocating, moving is a significant undertaking, and I understand how stressful it can be (particularly if it was unexpected), but if you and your partner are approaching negotiations (remember the backdrop is a litigated partition action where everyone loses value in the property), keep this in mind (along with the fact that you and your partner are enjoying use of the property when other siblings are not - this beneficial use is often credited against co-owners who gain benefits over others by residing in the unit).