I am a Joint Tenant on a property in California that has been sold, monies are in escrow. Other Joint Tenant is taking me to small claims court for 10,000 for cost associated to repairs to the house which I had no knowledge of.
As Joint Tenant, am I liable to pay for repair costs if I had no knowledge of them at any point during the sale of a property?
1 Answer from Attorneys
In general, cotenants of real estate have a shared responsibility for maintenance and similar costs (property taxes, insurance, principal and interest, etc.). However, the sharing can be altered by many factors, including a contract between the co-owners, or by one co-owner's direct or indirect responsibility for the damage. Suppose, for example, that X and Y own Blackacre as joint tenants. Neither lives there, but X has been renting Blackacre to Z and pocketing the rent. If Z terminates his rental and leaves a lot of damage behind, X will be held responsible for repairing the damage, and Y has no responsibility. The theory is that X is solely responsible for the tenancy of Z.