I own 3/8 of an inherited property, my siblings own 5/8. A nephew moved into the house, then asked us if we

Asked by Beth Wingard, Shippenville, PA Thu Jan 3, 2008

wanted to rent. I told him $300 per month rent for our 3/8, make whatever deal he could with the other owners, one of which is his mother. He said it sounded good to him, and agreed to meet with me in a few days to work out details. I have not heard from him since. He has been there three months, and I have not received any rent. What are my options? Can we evict? I am in PA if that makes a difference. Is he a squatter, or do we have a verbal rental agreement? Does pecentage of property owned make a difference?

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ally, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Sun Jan 6, 2008
Sounds like the issue is with your sister more than your nephew.

He probably was told by his mother that he could stay there rent free, but you need to remind him that even if his mother said he could live in her 5/8 for free, he still agreed to pay you $300 per month. His mother may have even told him specifically that he didn't need to pay you rent. Find out what is happening...

$300/month for rent is such a small amount of money for a double-income couple. They should feel bad for taking advantage of their aunt. Before seeking legal action, maybe you should give him a call to "remind him" that he agreed to pay you rent for your 3/8, and then, you can send him or drop off a nice note to tell him the address where he can send his rent check. Give him a chance to pay the rent.

I am not trying to give you legal advice. I have a big family, too. Since you like your nephew, I think you may be able to preserve your relationship better than if you start off with sending him an eviction notice.

PS- You could probably call the billboard company and ask who the checks are being sent to.
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Beth Wingard, Home Seller, Shippenville, PA
Fri Jan 4, 2008
The other siblings have signed control of their portion over to his mother. She is unhappy with me because I would not sign over control on my portion. The house has been vacant for 11 months, previous to that another nephew lived there for several years, supposedly paying $250 monthly rent, but nobody ever saw that either. A different sister was handling the estate at that time and that was her son. Of course her excuse was that expenses ate up all the rent. Taxes were due on properrty the day after the nephew came to see about renting. I told him that getting the taxes paid would be a good start toward our agreement. I wanted to pay our portion before added penalties, but it couldn't be paid partially until the year following separate deeds were drawn up. He talked to his mother, she said nobody had the money to pay the taxes, so I paid taxes on entire property, then deeded my portion separately, so I don't have to pay theirs in future years. There is income from a billboard on the property, but nobody seems to know how much. I don't know who gets the check for that. They say they have fire insurance, but I have no proof of that. The sister says she is trying to sell the property, but I offered the appraised value (two different appraisals) and they said it was not enough money. I have the first right of refusal on any sale (written in my deed). My attorney suggested that I could partition to sell, but I would give up the first right of refusal if I start the proceedings. I can see we are at a stalemate on any sale of the property. Our attoney said they can do whatever they want until we sue to stop them. I just want to get something for the taxes I have to pay. I get along with the nephew, but there is a limit to how much a person can be taken advantage of. I am retired with no pension, and could really use the money. He is a building contractor, wife is a teacher, I don't think I am asking too much. Do I need to go to their house to demand rent, or should I send notice by registered mail? Don't want to do this wrong and ruin any chance of getting any rent. Thanks for your input.
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ally, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 3, 2008
What are your options? Have you tried talking to your nephew and your siblings?

Have you asked your siblings what they worked out with your nephew? Are you on good terms with his mother? Are you on good terms with your nephew (if not, then why did you agree to rent to him)? Is he employed? What does he say when you ask him for the rent? Have you been by to collect the rent? Does he think you will be picking it up? Did your other siblings tell him, "Hey, you're young and getting started... don't worry about rent for now while you're living at grandma's old house"? Is his mother willing to pay you the $300 per month you worked out with him? Under good conscience, you can't just evict your nephew if the last conversation you had was, "Yes, you can live there for rent I will charge on my 3/8" and then no other discussion or follow-up.
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Stacey A. Ma…, , Westfield, MA
Thu Jan 3, 2008
Hi Beth - you need an attorney who is familiar with PA state law. I hope the link below is helpful, best wishes on a speedy resolution! Stacey
Web Reference:  http://lawyerfind.org/
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Realtor, ,
Thu Jan 3, 2008
Beth, a verbal agreement won't hold up in any court. Especially since you have let him stay there rent free for 3 months already. Contact the other owners and see what's going on and why he's being allowed to stay there rent free. Then contact him and ask him about the $300 a month. Who is paying the property taxes and insurance? Hopefully you can resolve this or else you may need to consult an attorney for legal advice. Good luck.
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