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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28384
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Putnam County, WV-My husband and I are inhabiting an

Customer Question

Putnam County, WV-My husband and I are inhabiting an abandoned house that was my cousins. When he died 3 years ago he didn't leave a will and various family members told us we could live here and keep the place up. We moved in about 1 1/2 months ago and today my husband, not myself, was served with papers to respond to wrongfully inhabiting this house, to also pay court fees and any fees associated with supposed damaged to the property. I have 203 pictures to show that we have done nothing but bring this house back to its former glory, and the woman that server us is an heir, but she's not alone-there is 30-40 other heirs that gave us their blessing to live here, after the house had been abandoned for at least 3 years. This woman was appointed as Adminastratorix of this property shortly after my cousin died, but because she didn't adhere to the terms of that, it was taken away from her. And now, this. We have family, pictures, witness statements from those that live near our house, and documents that prove she isn't an owner, just one of many heirs. At this time no one owns the home. We need help and advice now as to how this is going to go, thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. Who did the home pass to if he did not have a will?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It just went into heirship, I suppose. And the home had been abandoned until we moved into it.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Unless you have a legal right / interest in the home, you can not continue to reside there. Even though you may have received permission in the past, it does not mean that the situation and circumstances can not change and that you will not be asked to vacate, as is the case here. Only someone with legal standing, has the right to evict you and your husband, so if someone is trying to do this and they do not have the legal authority or ability to do so, you can contest this and seek to have the eviction action dismissed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No one owns this house and hasn't for years, the only owner was my cousin who passed and he didnt leave a will. So, this one of many heirs that is trying to get us out of the house, does she have legal standing to evict us or anyone for that matter from the home?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

No, they would not unless they can show 1) ownership or 2) the legal authority to act and evict you, as executor of the State. If he passed without a will, then it should have passed to his heirs. If this person is now trying to get you out and has no authority to do so, you can respond and file a motion to dismiss.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She was appointed to take care of the house and the property, to maintain it, and I have proof that it wasn't taken care of. But according to another family member, she doesnt have that anymore. Whether she has that or not, can she still evict? Again, I can't stress it enough, this house was falling apart before we moved into it.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I certainly understand what you have done to maintain and improve it but it does not provide you with a legal right or interest in it, by those contributions. If she HAD the authority previously but no longer, you want to attack that and use it as a basis to dismiss the action, since she has no right to evict you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh I plan to, no worries there, but what if she didn't have that title taken away? And from what I read in court documents, she paid a bond amount to be the person that was supposed to look after the property and house, but that was it. Does that give her legal rights to evict?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

If she did not have her authority removed, then she can proceed. If you have someone who says it was, you want to have them testify and assist you, to show this was revoked at sometime.