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Help with greedy co-owner

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?CA

Hello, this is my first post so I hope this isn't too much.

I need advice, My husband owns a house with his bother in SF. My husband and I live upstairs and my bother-in-law lived downstairs. About two years ago my bother-in-law moved out to live with his ailing Mom (my husband and I were supicious due to the non-relationship with his mom) My husband would also care for his mom every night until she went into the hospital; she later passed away in the hospital. My Husband is one of seven.

My bother-in-law in the beginning, was (I heard) not so good with paying his share of the Mortgage and other bills and my (now) husband would cover his portion. The bother would not pay back what my husband paid out. This went on for years. So, now that the bother has moved out. He wanted to rent out his portion of the house to a stranger; while we lived upstairs. My husband and his bother made a verbal agreement not to ever rent to strangers. So, the bother has said "I'm going to rent it out, so, in order to keep strangers out of our house, we're (blackmailed) renting his half. At first, we were paying $450.00, the bottom half of the house is not really livable there is mold on one of the walls and he ripped out the bathroom which left unfinished work, the windows are in not good shape, (our half of the house is not like this) We are mostly using this space for storage. We have alot of bills and we have to buy our health insurance seperately so this is very expensive. We asked if we could have a break in the rent and pay $300.00. He reluctently said yes. We never signed anything stating we would pay him back the $150.00 we shorted every month.

Back to the mom's house. We found out (by the bother after there mom died)that she signed the house over to the bother. None of the other 6 kids got anything except my husband and another brother, we don't know if there is a will, we haven't seen any paperwork. Supposedly, there mom said (to the bother) to give one bother $2000.00 and my husband $5000.00 to spend anyway they want. The one bother who got $2000.00, owed the bother some money so, when he dispersed the funds to him, he shorted the amount for whatever he owed him. Now, my husband wants his $5000.00 and now he wants to short the $5000.00 for the passed rent shortage for aprx 1 year and a half. By the way, the house that was signed over to him, is worth 1 mill + he also, mind you, is still half owner of our house. Like I said, neither one has signed anything. I don't think he has the right to deduct any inheritance when we haven't signed any "I owe you"

Can we claim any kind of renter/landlord issues since we're technically "renting" his space from him(no rental agreement just oral communication.) And, does he have the legal right to deduct when there is nothing in writing. I don't know if he is in writing, the executor of state.

Help....frustrated individual...


Senior Member
The co-owned house is one issue, the mother's house is another issue.

First, the co-owned house. You have no lease/rental agreement. And a verbal agreement is worthless. Therefore you have two and only two options:

1. brother rents out his half of the house and you have nothing to say.
2. you file a partition action and sell the house, taking your half and buying a new house.

as for your mother signing over her house to the one brother, that's a matter for an elder law attorney to look into. Without a will all other possession pass through intestate probate and the brother has no authority to act on anything without the permission of the court.

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