Author Topic: Co-ownership of inherited property  (Read 931 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Co-ownership of inherited property
« on: March 14, 2017, 09:50:27 PM »
I need some mustachian advice.

My brother and I inherited my mothers home when she passed in 2012. Without going into too much detail, he's been living in the house ever since.  Paying zero rent to me.   I agreed to it under the premise that it would give him time to build up savings, get his life in order, etc.

For a variety of reasons, that should be obvious to most reading this, I want to sell the place and put that money to better use.

Instead of being appreciative of the rent free living he's enjoyed, he's of course dragging his feet and obviously hopes that the status quo will continue.

Any advice?  Legal or philosophical?

I've presented him with the option of buying me out or just selling the place.  And in the buy out option, I'm of course offering him a bargain price! 

Would appreciate any insights

Frankies Girl

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Re: Co-ownership of inherited property
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 10:47:16 PM »
There is no way I would have done this myself because tying myself to someone else financially that is not my spouse is a very bad idea in my opinion. Especially someone that has such a poor track record (needing years to sort their life out? Um, yeah) and had no issue taking such advantage of relatives to boot.

But you've already done this, been taken advantage of over the last 5+ years, and your brother shows no signs of being grateful... I'd tell them nicely that it's been 5 years and you want out, and either they buy you out or you will contact a realtor regarding putting the house up for sale. They get one or the other choice wise and if you get pushback then you really will need to consult a lawyer for your rights regarding forcing the sale of the property. I'd give him a deadline for a decision - say he has a month to decide to buy you out or put it up for sale. And be crystal clear that there is no maintaining the status quo; you are done and this will be finished within the next couple of months one way or the other, so his refusal to make a decision still means a decision will be made (lawyer, then selling property to 3rd party). If he refuses to make his own decision known by that time, I'd contact an attorney at that point and get the ball rolling on your legal options.

This is particularly sucky for you as you lost out on so much and shared the liability (what if soemone got hurt on the property because he neglected something that needed repair and sued you both?) and probably don't even know if your brother kept up on the maintenance and taxes/dues and such. And if this turns bad now, he may destroy the property or do some damage to it just to spite you, and that's not even counting the $$ to sort out the legal recourse. So sorry you're in this situation.


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Re: Co-ownership of inherited property
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 11:09:42 PM »
Has his financial situation improved in the last five years?  Could he start paying "rent" now, perhaps to gradually buy out your half of the house?


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Re: Co-ownership of inherited property
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 11:24:15 PM »
I would say much the same as Frankies Girl, except that I would start with consulting the lawyer, to find out just what your recourse is if he doesn't quickly and immediately agree to either start paying rent or buy you out or put the house up for sale.  marble_faun's question about his financial situation is a good one - does your brother have the financial means to buy you out, or would he be able to get a mortgage?  I'm not sure that I'd want to get into a "rent to own" situation with family, but if you do, make sure it's with legally drawn up paperwork and the whole 9 yards!

Also, you haven't said what your relationship otherwise is like, and you certainly don't have to share that much about your family relationships on an internet forum.  But I journeyed very closely alongside someone in a similar (though not identical) situation and the outcome in terms of relationships was quite devastating.  Not just for the people immediately involved, but in the wider family circles.  I do hope you're prepared for the possible backlash, if you decide to push ahead to have the situation change/resolve.  Not saying you shouldn't do it, just something you should think about.  And be prepared for how it might also stir up feelings about your mother's death, and your childhood relationships, etc.  Sometimes these situations have deeper "roots" into our souls than we realize...