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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30375
Experience:  JA Mentor
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I received a notice to vacate my home from the US Probation

Customer Question

I received a notice to vacate my home from the US Probation Office for the Northern District of Georgia due to a ruling to disallow Landlord and Tenant to share the same residence at this time. I found this house 9 years ago, negotiated the deal with the seller and have paid half of the mortgage and bills since 2007. The other half owner/former partner has just been released from prison where he served 1 year and his Probation Officer has decided that he shouldn't live with me. I have no lease and am supposed to be half owner! What can I do to prevent being thrown out in 60 days?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
- We purchased the house in my partner's name because his income was higher than mine and easier to verify via tax returns for the Underwriters. I work as an Independent Contractor, so he claims me as a dependent on his taxes. In short, his name is ***** ***** deed, but he gave it to me for safe keeping -- (not sure if any of this makes a difference).
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened. Do you have anything in writing that says you are part-owner? A lease would say you were renting the property, so that's not what you need. Does the paperwork you received from the court name you as the tenant? What is the probation officer's basis for finding that this person shouldn't live with you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not really. We have another roommate that can verify the story. All upgrades and maintenance for the property were done by me and I have receipts for those. Yes, according to the paperwork I would be the tenant.The probation officer thinks we shouldn't live together because we were codefendants on a case over 9 years ago. I had nothing to do with that but because I was there and we were partners they arrested both of us. He took a plea offer and testified that I had nothing to do with any of it. I basically ended up taking a plea deal for a disorderly conduct charge no probation sentence suspended. I have no felonies on my record.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. If you're considered the tenant, and you don't have something in writing making you an owner, I'm sorry to say you don't have any legal right to remain in the property. All you're legally entitled to is 60 days notice, which is what you've got. Doing maintenance and repairs doesn't make any difference, because the law says that an interest in real estate can only be transferred via a written contracts signed by both parties. Code of Georgia, Section 13-5-30. You can try to file a Motion for Reconsideration of the judge's order, but the property owner will lose their probation if they allow you to remain without the judge changing their mind, and I'm afraid there isn't any law that allows you to stay if you never got a contract that shows you're an owner. I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I am paid for the time I spent answering your question. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He doesn't want me to leave, he thinks we can just trick the Probation Officer into thinking I no longer live here. Which is something I would rather not do! We have lived together for 12 years and lived in this house for 9 years and I most certainly am not a bad influence on anyone. But let me see if I have this right, so I suggest we buy a house because I'm tired of renting (which I relate to paying other people's mortgages). I find a Realtor and view property after property for three long months until I finally find the one. I get it under contract and negotiate the price by myself, we close and move into our new home. I mentioned we were partners but that's only because being gay we couldn't get married back then and when the laws changed so that we could marry he was incarcerated. I also mentioned the upkeep and maintenance, I don't just mean buying toilet paper. I mean everything from buying all the furniture, updating the HVAC system, replacing the kitchen cabinets, upgrading the kitchen appliances, installing new floors, upgrading the exterior to hardiplank siding, having new landscaping installed, having a tool shed built, weatherizing the entire house, replacing both entryway doors and expanding the foyer, had stacked stone wall built around front yard and replaced all three iron gated entryways to property, updated interior paint and all cabinet hardware, toilets and faucets, installed gas fireplace. Anything and everything having to do with this property is done by me! Each time we needed permits I would meet with the historical society and Urban Design Commission to get everything approved. I filed insurance claims for weather damage and met with agent. I am active in our Neighborhood Watch. I found a tenant for our small studio apartment that's on the property and I oversee everything having to do with that. I pay all the utilities and do the grocery shopping. And as far as the mortgage is concerned sometimes it is paid from my checking account and sometimes it is paid from his. So as you can see I am quite vested in this property and have been from the beginning. But your saying even considering all of that I still have no right or claims to this property? Also, the letter was not from a judge on second look it appears to be a Notification to Vacate because of the ruling from U.S. Probations Office to not allow Landlord and tenant to reside together and signed by the "Landlord" partner or the other owner.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, none of that gives you any claim to the house. You'd have to have insisted upon being on the title, or entered a written contract with your partner before buying it. When two people are dating and money flows back and forth without a contract, it's all gifts. A judge can't create a contract that didn't exist just because one of the parties realizes down the line they've left themselves vulnerable. It's a horrible situation, and I'm sorry, but the law doesn't protect you. You got a notice to vacate because Georgia law requires 60 days notice to vacate. Your partner had to issue it if the probation officer said he couldn't live with you. If the notice wasn't signed by a judge, then you'd need to appeal to the probation officer directly by sending a letter or calling to explain your side of things. Your partner will go to jail if he tells the probation officer you moved out and they find out he lied.