Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

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?

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

3 Answers from Attorneys

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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Answered on 4/28/13, 2:33 pm

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

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

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Answered on 4/28/13, 2:53 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

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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Answered on 4/28/13, 3:04 pm

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