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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36722
Experience:  I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
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This is a question about whether I can recover property

Customer Question

This is a question about whether I can recover property taxes paid as one of four life tenants. At this moment, the other three refuse to pay taxes and the taxes are delinquent. I have been reading, and it appears that the solutions include partition, a lien for taxes against the property, or a transfer or sale of my interest. I prefer not to partition or transfer, and my understanding is that I can't have a lien in this state. How do I get reimbursement for any taxes paid?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. Does the Life Estate deed set out who is responsible for the payment of taxes, or does it just say that the taxes will be paid by the life tenants?

2. Has there EVER been an agreement as between the 4 of you as to how the taxes will be shared?

3. Have the other 3 paid property tax shares in the past?

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
According to the life estate, we are all responsible for paying the taxes on the property. There is no separate agreement. We have ALL paid taxes without a problem for the past four years. When tax notices were sent to them this year, they refused to accept them and have said orally that they will not pay.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

Thanks for the additional information.

All you need to do is to sue each of your co-life-estate holders for breach of contract, allege that the deed requires all of you to pay the taxes, that everyone has paid the last 4 years and that there is an agreement that everyone will pay and you want to be reimbursed for having had to pay their share this year.

Small claims court may be the way to go here to save money and avoid the need for an attorney. You said you are not interested in Partition or a sale of your share so I will not discuss that.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a hypothetical. If I don't sue them immediately, will I lose that right? Under what circumstance can they say that I just paid the taxes because I wanted to?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I forgot to say that none of them live in my county and two of them live out-of-state.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

This is a hypothetical. If I don't sue them immediately, will I lose that right? Yes, after 6 years. Under what circumstance can they say that I just paid the taxes because I wanted to? Really, out of the goodness of their hearts? I don't think so. You told me that the life estate places the responsibility for the taxes on all holders---and that includes everyone.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

Do you have any additional questions that you would like me to address for you? In case you would like a phone call to further discuss these issues you have raised, I will make that offer to you. You are certainly not obligated to accept a call offer, but many people do find it helpful for clarification purposes, as well as to allow them to ask additional questions.

If I have provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

I am more than willing to speak with you on the phone. However, there is an issue with your request. You need to contact customer service at(###) ###-####to clear up the issue. Also be sure to tell them that you want me (Doug) to call you since I have been communication with you thus far.

Doug.