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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42177
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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I recently acquired land that was in a life estate. I am the

Customer Question

I recently acquired land that was in a life estate. I am the remainederman. A relative built a home on the property 6 years ago with the approval of the life tenant and is still living on the property.I being the remaindermen advised the relative not to build on the property as I would not give my approval to have any buildings built on said land which is all farmland.. My question is can I now take possession of all the buildings that were built on my property without consent..and is the life tenants estate responsible to return the land to its original condition which is agriculture? Also if there is money owed on the buildings who is responsible to pay the mortgage if there is one?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Here in North Dakota you own the land and any improvements since you purchased the life estate.You would need to evict the person living in the house.You took the life estate here as it is, if there is any taxes due, any repairs or need to modify the land you would bear the cost since you own all of it.The life tenant bowed out here it is yours to do with as you choose and you also get it as it is , if taxes are due here you will have to pay them to keep the property.

By accepting the life tenancy with taxes owing here you will have to resolve them.The law presumes you accepted the property as it is.

You are going to need a local lawyer here , there may be a suit with the home builder, certainly the eviction will be contested.But you would own the home, it is a permanent improvement and it becomes part of the legal title.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Lawyer Referral Directory

North Dakota State Bar Association LRS
Bismarck, ND

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Statewide

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not purchase the life estate..It was left to me in my fathers will.. My step mother was the life tenant she died 3 months ago. She let a grandson of hers build on the property which was crop land before he built on it..He did not get my permission to build on the life I would like him to vacate the property and/or return the land ti it's original condition which was crop land..Who is responsible for the costs to return land to crop land...Thankyou
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You can sue to evict him here, you own the house since you own the land.You would have to separately sue him for damages here, the costs to return it to what it was, crop land.You could pursue the damage suit separately against the grandson as well as legal fees and costs.You own the land and it is yours here.Your lawyer can pursue both.

Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would the life tenant (my step mother) estate be responsible to return the property to its original condition..If she gave consent for grandson to occupy the land..She tried to buy the land from me a few years ago but I did not want to sell. I sent her and her lawyer letter stating I did not want to sell and also upon her death the land would be returned to its original condition which is a cultivated field...Thankyou in advance
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You could try.The only thing you could authorize was to allow a person on the property for her lifetime and then it ends.You are the current owner and can proceed here against step mother or the builder of the house or both.You decide who you want to pursue in all of this, one or both.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you can leave a five star rating it is much appreciated.Thanks again.