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legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9907
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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My parents traded me a peice of land but did not put it in

Customer Question

My parents traded me a peice of land but did not put it in my name and I built my home on it now they want to evict me what do I do?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Tx
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They gave my sister power of attorney and she sent me a lease agreement and told me if I didn't sign it before I go to work in the morning then she would evict me
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this; is there documentation re: the trade? And did the trade involve another piece of real estate?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No documents of any kind just a verbal agreement and our house is next to theirs and the agreement was that 1 acre of the 3 acres was ours to build our home on
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your patience; I had to delve a little deeper because there is a TX statute that is codified at 26.01 here, which requires all land transfers to be in writing and signed by the grantor (owner) in order to be effective- this is called the statute of frauds.

However, since that does not always result in justice, the courts have carved an exception-referred to as Promissory Estoppel. Basically that theory applies when one party relies on the promise of another, even if there is no written transfer. So for example, the elements require:

1. a promise

2. a foreseeable reliance on that promise

3. substantial reliance that causes detriment.

So basically, if a party, in good faith relies on an oral promise and performs accordingly, the statute of frauds will not serve to bar that good faith party from prevailing, as justice requires. Case law that upholds this includes the Nagle case - 633 SW2d 796 (Tx 1982) and the Birenbaum case - 971 SW 2d 497 (Tx 1997).

So basically one needs to file for declaratory judgment as to the true owner of the property. The judge can order a person to execute a deed to effectuate the transfer; if they refuse they can allow the court clerk to sign on their behalf so that it becomes part of the chain of title and legally binding.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

To be clear, building the house would be the action that results in promissory estoppel.

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm sorry but the two cases you spoke of had nothing to do with real estate,the first one was about an intoxicated driver killing a mother and daughter in huntsville,the other was about a corporation losing out on a promised percentage ,but neither could help me in my case but thank you anyway
Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Actually those both have to do with real estate; you must have accessed the wrong cases. You can access the real estate cases I referenced by entering the citation in the URL and you will be able to review the above referenced real estate cases. Hope this helps! thank you.

Expert:  legalgems replied 9 months ago.

Were you able to see how the cases did have to do with real estate?