California  |  Real Estate Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 4/28/13, 2:22 pm

If someone owns a home, but has let someone else live there and pay ALL utilities/expenses (past 16 years), including the taxes (past 3 years), does the resident have any legal claim to the home?

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Answered on: 4/28/13, 2:33 pm by Joel Selik

Was there an agreement? Was it in writing, Without a written agreement the person living there would not likely be successful claiming an ownership interest.


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www.SelikLaw.com Box 1448 San Diego And Las Vegas, CA 92079

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Answered on: 4/28/13, 2:53 pm by Timothy McCormick

The resident has a legal claim as a tenant, nothing more.


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Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services 201 Spear St., Suite 1100 San Francisco, CA 94105

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Answered on: 4/28/13, 3:04 pm by Bryan Whipple

I think Mr. Selik has it backwards. WITHOUT an agreement, the resident is developing a potential adverse possession ownership claim. His claim will be ripe for presentation to a court as an action to quiet title as soon as he has paid five years of property taxes. If, however, the owner HAS an agreement with the occupant, the possession is NOT adverse and the occupant is a guest, not an adverse possessor. Also, no written agreement is necessary to make the occupant a guest rather than an adverse possessor. All that is required is conduct showing that the record owner consented to the possession of the occupant.


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Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law P O Box 318 Tomales, CA 94971-0318

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